By: Michael O’Driscoll
COVID-19 has placed a tremendous amount of stress on all the residents and businesses of Gila County since January of 2020. When Gila County and our community partners began vaccinating residents I was convinced that we would be successful if we all worked together to get as many vaccines we receive out to the public, quickly. I believe not only have we been successful in accomplishing what we set out to do, but all of us have far exceeded expectations.
A few days ago I was contacted by CNN who wanted to understand how Gila County became one of the first communities in the US to open vaccinations up to the general public for any resident 18-year or older. I invited CNN out to Gila County to get a glimpse into our vaccination efforts and try to explain how the community pulled together to help…..it was like explaining how to put together a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle. I have attached a graphic of something that I believe visually describes how a community must work together during a public health crisis; but, what the picture doesn’t tell you is all the hard work it takes from the hundreds of individuals to accomplish this.
They recorded over 4-hours of interviews with my COVID-19 response team, local business owners, and Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center staff. I was told by the reporters that most all of the interview footage would end up on the cutting room floor because their segment would only allow for a few minutes on air. However, I would like all of you to know that every one of my staff that was interviewed was clear that our success was due to the building of partnerships with all of you during this pandemic. During the interview, my team thanked the Gila County Board of Supervisors and County Administration team for their trust and support, every health care partner that assisted with vaccinations and testing, community leaders, elected officials, media outlets, law enforcement, volunteers, Command Solutions 4, and many more.
This pandemic is far from over and we will continue our strong efforts to make sure any resident who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive it. We will begin receiving the newest Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week which will give the remaining eligible Gila County residents a choice of type of vaccine. This newest vaccine takes only one shot instead of the two required from the Moderna vaccine.
Here is the link to a couple of interviews (below) that call attention to how your hard work paid off.
Also, as it turns out the CNN reporter went to the same high school as I did so it was very kind of her to go on Twitter to send out a shameless plug for Gila County
Michael O’Driscoll, Director
Gila County Health & Emergency Management
Twitter Feed from CNN Reporter:
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