MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Cheers and sighs of relief were heard as Mariposa County received its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"I have little kids. Last night when I was tucking my son into bed, he said, 'You're getting the vaccine tomorrow!'" said D. Mimi Carter with the John C. Fremont Healthcare District.
Working on the frontlines of the pandemic, Dr. Carter isn't the only one in her family elated by the arrival.
"I'm just so impressed by science and the researchers that we've been able to go from this novel virus to a vaccine in a year," says Dr. Carter.
She's among dozens of doctors, nurses, and staff at the district to receive the much-needed layer of protection.
"Obviously we're wearing our mask and face shield and doing everything else we can but we can't socially distance from patients," says Dr. Kenneth Smith.
They may be the first in Mariposa County to receive it, but 16 of their 17 long-term care residents also became the first in the state to have this opportunity.
"We felt like sitting ducks for months just waiting to see if this is going to hit us or when it's going to hit us and knowing we have a weapon now is amazing," says Director of Skilled Nursing Katrina Anderson.
Mariposa's health department gave its allotment to the skilled nursing facility to make it possible.
"We were running protocols as late as this morning on signs, symptoms and the protocols for post-vaccination in employees and residents," she says.
Mariposa County, known for its tourism, has gone through the back-and-forth of stay-at-home orders.
The most recent was devastating to the community.
The anticipation of the vaccine spans beyond the hospital walls.
"People's lives are going to get back in order. We're going to be able to socialize, not have lonely elderly people in our community," says Dr. Carter.
COVID-19 vaccines administered in Mariposa County to cheers, sighs of relief