A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Petaluma SRJC campus becomes one of three new vaccination sites

Courtesy Hannah Cunha
After receiving her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, Stephanie Stone (left) sets her appointment for her second dose with nurse’s assistant Angel Rodgers (right).

The Santa Rosa Junior College Petaluma campus became a COVID-19 vaccination clinic Feb. 9 with nurses traveling from out of state to help administer doses.

The Petaluma campus’ fitness center was one of three new vaccination clinics to open in Sonoma County this month in a collaborative effort between the county and the Petaluma Health center. 

As the county enters Phase 1B of vaccine distribution, the Petaluma clinic has begun administering vaccines to residents 70 and older as well as essential agriculture workers and some education and childcare workers. 

Petaluma Health Center staff and traveling nurses from varying companies will administer 250 to 300 doses of the Pfizer vaccine per day by appointment. According to Brown, the county had put in a request to the state for additional assistance in administering doses.

Angel Rogers, a student certified nurse’s assistant from Chicago, Ill. working at the Petaluma clinic for SnapNurse, said there are around 70 nurses housed in a local Petaluma hotel.

“There are CNA and RN’s from all over. One gentleman who works with us is from Australia, but now lives in Florida,” she said.

Besides travelling across the country for work, Rogers also has four kids and a husband at home, as well as her own cosmetics business. When she isn’t busy at the clinic, she tries to get as much studying in as possible, bringing her textbooks with her to work. Most of the nurses involved volunteered to assist other communities previously.

“I volunteered to be here working. I want to help those I can,” Rodgers said, “I’m healthy, so I should help others who are at higher risk stay healthy as well.”

Ariana Byrd, a certified nurse’s assistant from Tampa Bay, Fla., was one of the many healthcare workers who arrived in Petaluma on Saturday night and has already traveled to Los Angeles and Sacramento to provide her services. She had not received the vaccine and was tense about the idea of acquiring it in the future. 

“It is optional for us nurses to get the vaccine,” Byrd said. “I’m nervous about getting the vaccine myself.” 

Byrd helped dozens of individuals schedule their second vaccination appointment, like 71-year-old life coach and novelist Stephanie Stone, who received her first dose with minimal nerves and a positive mindset.

“I think it’s going to work. There is more to come. They definitely have time to improve the vaccine more in the future,” Stone said. 

Other patients who received the vaccination weren’t as positive about their experience. Joette and Don Renenger, both 73 and retired, had trouble setting up their appointments to receive their first vaccination, and Joette was apprehensive about receiving her vaccination in the first place.

“Not easy to schedule an appointment at all,” Don Renenger said. “No appointments were available anywhere, I had to call the Petaluma Health Department to get an appointment.” 

Another patient had no issues scheduling her appointment the day the dates were released. Vicki French received an email stating the Petaluma campus was being used as a vaccination distributor and within two hours of the email, she had booked her appointment. 

“I was pretty grateful to receive the vaccine,” French said. “Scheduling the appointment was quick and simple.” 

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About the Contributors
Jonathan Bigall
Jonathan Bigall, Social Media Manager
Jonathan Bigall is a journalism major in his second year as an SRJC student who is planning to transfer after the Spring 2021 semester. This is his third semester at The Oak Leaf. Jonathan plans to transfer to either Humboldt State or Long Beach state to get a bachelor's degree in journalism. He loves podcasts and podcasting and even has his own show, "The Chaos Addiction Podcast." Jonathan has fallen in love with the journalism field and wants to be a part of a major publication in his career.
Hannah Cunha
Hannah Cunha, Reporter
Hannah is a first-year English and Journalism major at SRJC who is planning on transferring in Spring 2022. This is her first semester at The Oak Leaf. She enjoys writing about social and cultural topics in the community. Hannah loves to watch Netflix and Hulu, take trips to the beach with her friends or family, and go on hikes.

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