Dignity Health Mark Twain Medical Center (MTMC) staff in San Andreas became the first people in Calaveras County to be vaccinated against COVID-19 Thursday evening.

County Health and Human Services Director Kristin Stranger stated on Monday that more than 400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be delivered to the county this week – enough to vaccinate all local health care providers and EMS responders who are willing.

Nancy Hiteshew, chief nursing officer, was the first person to receive the vaccination at MTMC and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pardeep Athwal, was the second. Kristine Dittman, Emergency Department manager/interim Employee Health nurse, administered the vaccines.

MTMC could not yet report how many total staff members have been vaccinated.

“Vaccinations will be administered over the next several weeks in order to ensure that all staff that chooses to receive one will be given the Covid vaccine,” an MTMC news release states.

“While we are encouraged by news about the progress of vaccine development, we must remain vigilant and follow CDC guidelines – including wearing a mask and social distancing – to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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