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Gina Seufert, physician and clinic services executive at Adventist Health in Tillamook, gives the first immunization to Ann Batchelder, FNP.

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Adventist Health Tillamook healthcare associates on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic have received a historic shot of protection against the novel coronavirus after aquiring the first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Adventist Health Tillamook is distributing its allotment of 400 vaccine doses to physicians and associates who are in direct contact with COVID-19 patients, per the CDC guidelines. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has lasted much longer expected, the vaccine will help to ensure our healthcare personnel remain healthy, safe and ready to provide care to all who need it,” said Gina Seufert, physician and clinic services executive.

Vaccines are being rolled out in phases and will be made widely available to the public in 2021. The

COVID-19 vaccine was rigorously tested for safety before being approved for Emergency Use

Authorization in the United States.

Dr. John Bohlman, the medical officer for Adventist Health Tillamook says, “I believe the best and likely only real solution to bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic is for everyone to get vaccinated a soon as possible. It is our only hope of stopping this virus and returning to our normal lives. I am confident that the vaccine will change the trajectory of the pandemic.”

The Moderna vaccine uses messenger RNA (mRNA) to teach cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects against COVID-19. Because the mRNA stays within the cell’s cytoplasm, there is no effect on its DNA.

The vaccine does not contain a live virus and does not carry a risk of causing disease in the vaccinated person.

While vaccinations begin taking place across our region, community members are encouraged to continue practicing safety precautions, including wearing masks, staying at least 6 feet and washing their hands frequently. Additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine may be found online at cdc.gov/coronavirus. Questions about community distribution of the vaccines may be directed to the Tillamook County Community Health Center.

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