Members of Martinez Area CERT are supporting the countywide effort to get COVID vaccine shots into the arms of residents. The West Contra Costa distribution site, located at the Valley Bible Church in Hercules, has been operating for weeks. As of March 9, 2021, more than 6,000 Contra Costa residents have been vaccinated at the drive-thru clinic.

CERT members are playing key roles in the post-vaccination observation areas. As residents receive their shot they are screened for potential post-injection reactions. Residents are assigned either a 15-minute or 30-minute period observation period based upon medical history. CERT members are distributing printed vaccine information, looking for individuals that may need medical assistance, and directing vehicles through the observation lanes. As you can imagine, vehicle control is a major challenge as 1,000+ vaccinations are dosed during each clinic.

The vaccination clinic offers CERT members practical experience with inter-agency incident command operations and communications as well as an opportunity to work with CERT members from surrounding communities including Richmond, El Cerrito, and Lamorinda.

There’s tremendous satisfaction in knowing that we’re helping the community in such a vital way – advancing the greatest good, for the greatest number.

Stephen Andrews, DSW, District 8