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Vaccinations begin in Riverside, Norco College instructors recall experience getting the shot

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The COVID-19 vaccine is being administered in Riverside County in a tiered system that include first responders, medical workers and those aged 65 or older at the top of the list. Government officials have said all groups may be eligible for vaccination by April. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
By Jacob Quezada

The City of Riverside provided 460 first dosages of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with Curative on Jan. 30.

Amongst those eligible for the first round of vaccines at the Riverside Convention Center were Norco College instructors Alexis Grey and Rick Mansikka.

Grey and Mansikka, a married couple who teach anthropology and English, respectively, expressed that their vaccination experience was quick and easy.

“We happened to hit a sweet window,” Grey said. “The healthcare workers were very kind and they explained the entire process. My husband’s vaccine took place 15 minutes before mine did because of the thaw process, but once the next vials got to room temperature, I received mine.”

The key motivating factor Grey expressed for being inoculated was the “ultimate goal of getting students back to class.”

“It’s set up like little stations,” Mansikka said. “They sat her at one of the stations and they stood me in front of one of the workers. Another station was ready so they called me over immediately, asked the screening questions and the vaccine was administered.”

Grey said networking made it possible for her and Mansikka to receive their first dose.

“The school did not notify us specifically about the Convention Center,” she said. “This one was a network of college professors who all knew when different stuff was happening and we were Facebook messaging each other trying to figure out when we could get vaccinated.”

In a follow up interview Feb. 4, Grey and Mansikka said they were overall “healthy and fine” and have no concern on the availability of the second Moderna dose.

According to a press release from the City of Riverside, the last of the Moderna vaccine was administered by the end of the third day, bringing the total to 1,480 inoculations.

The official statement also stated that the subsequent vaccinations at the Convention Center would be that of the Pfizer vaccine.

“Appointments to receive the Pfizer were made available Tuesday afternoon and were quickly snapped up,” the statement read. “The second shot can be scheduled through the same website as appointments open closer to each person’s respective 21st or 28th day.”

For more information on eligibility and appointments, visit vaccine.riversideca.gov.

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