I would like to clarify the information in the article titled “Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics Prepares to Vaccinate 22,000 Patients.”
The title implies that the Neighborhood Clinics are ready to start vaccination of all of our patients, which is unfortunately not true. It is true that we are in the preparation phase, working on putting together vaccination teams who will be able to facilitate mass vaccination events. However, at this time we are not yet ready to begin the vaccination of “all comers.”
We are limited in space in our clinics, in volunteer vaccinators and staff to run the events and in the vaccine itself.
SBNC will still be focusing on health-care workers including home health aides for the near future, expanding to those over 75 and essential workers as vaccine availability becomes more established. After those patients have been offered vaccine we will expand to other groups of higher risk persons and eventually to all patients regardless of risk.
We ask our patients to be patient as we work through this process and know that we will contact them, when the vaccines are available for them.
I hope this clarifies the situation at the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and the status of the Covid-19 vaccination plan for our established patients.
We continue to care for our patients both through TeleHealth and in person services as appropriate always with our Mission in mind: “To provide high quality, comprehensive, affordable healthcare to all people, regardless of their ability to pay, in an environment that fosters respect, compassion and dignity.”
Dr. Susan Lawton is associate medical director of the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.