Dr. Albert Arteaga, president and founder of LaSalle Medical Associates, speaks with Baron Jordan, of San Bernardino, March 20,2021 at the LaSalle Medical Associates medical office located in Rialto, Calif. Jordan is sitting in the observation area after receiving the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. After receiving the vaccine, patients are observed for 15 minutes for any immediate adverse effects. (Photo by Valda Wilson)
“I had to try to get around the bureaucracy myself, so I appreciate that our health partner LaSalle engaged with trusted community partners like churches… “It’s good to offer clear access from familiar people to the community. It helps” said Dr. Michael Andrew Owens, pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church
(Rialto, Calif.) Nurses from LaSalle Medical Associates vaccinated more than 220 people Saturday during a Rialto clinic designed to give the Black community better access to COVID-19 vaccinations.
LaSalle teamed up with San Bernardino’s New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and The Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches to put at a recent clinic, part of an innovative approach in which the church gathered a list of interested people, and LaSalle staff members contacted them to make appointments.
Alicia Cazenave of San Bernardino was happy that her church worked with LaSalle to bypass the bureaucratic roadblocks she experienced earlier when trying to make appointments for family members through government agencies.
She arrived early Saturday morning and was third in line to get her shot.
“I am relieved to be getting it,” said Cazenave, 59. “Having the church organize it helped as far as access. The church gave us better access.”
She was also happy to be getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is just one dose.
“The shot was good. No pain,” she said after being inoculated.
Dr Michael Andrew Owens, pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, was thankful that LaSalle worked directly with the church to set up vaccination appointments.
“I had to try to get around the bureaucracy myself, so I appreciate that our health partners engaged with trusted community partners like churches, and I appreciate the respect for the church, knowing that we have influence in the community,” he said. “It’s good to offer clear access from familiar people to the community. It helps.
“And the one shot, that sold itself. I think a lot of people were waiting,” he said.
“Today we are giving Johnson’s vaccine. It’s just one shot and you’re done. We just got it last week,” said Dr. Albert Arteaga, LaSalle’s president and founder. “It’s as effective as the others at preventing serious disease or death. That’s up to nearly 100 percent.”
During Saturday’s clinic, he stood outside, answering questions and sharing light-hearted banter with people waiting in line.
Dr. Michael Andrew Owens, pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, speaks with Edward Hoffman III, of Redlands, March 20, 2021 at the LaSalle Medical Associates medical office located in Rialto, Calif. Hoffman is sitting in the observation area after receiving the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. After receiving the vaccine, patients are observed for 15 minutes for any immediate adverse effects.
(Photo by Valda Wilson)
“After your shot, you may get a slight fever tonight. But don’t worry. It’s just a case of Saturday Night Fever,” he joked with one man.
Vicki Creighton, from Riverside, said she was eager to get vaccinated Saturday.
“I feel confident, and I feel it’s going to be great. My mom and dad are 88 and they had their shots,” she said.
Deborah Neal, from Lake Elsinore, said she learned of Saturday’s clinic when a friend shared a flier from New Hope.
“I sure am relieved, especially since it’s one shot,” she said.
Dr. Arteaga told her, “You notice that we are taking everyone who comes and not finding reasons to turn people away.”
The Rialto clinic, San Bernardino clinic on Mount Vernon Ave., and Hesperia clinic are certified vaccination centers. For more information on LaSalle Medical associates at http://www.lasallemedicalassociates.com
About LaSalle Medical Associates
LaSalle Medical Associates is one of the largest independent minority owned healthcare companies in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The corporate office is in Redlands.
LaSalle has Covid 19 vaccines for their patients.
About two weeks after the first dose, the level of protection is approximately 50 percent, and two weeks after the second dose, the level of protection is about 94 percent.
(Redlands, Calif.) Inland Empire residents who receive both scheduled doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are so well-protected that their chances of becoming seriously ill from the virus are virtually zero two weeks after their second shot, said Dr. Albert Arteaga, president and founder of LaSalle Medical Associates.
About two weeks after the first dose, the level of protection is approximately 50 percent, and two weeks after the second dose, the level of protection is about 94 percent, Dr. Arteaga explained Feb. 19.
And in the unlikely event that someone did come down with the illness two weeks after the second shot, it would be a much milder case, he said.
“About two weeks after your second shot, you are virtually assured that you won’t die from this scourge,” he said. “Getting the vaccine is something to be proud of, something to share with others.”
LaSalle Medical Associates operates clinics in Fontana, Hesperia, Rialto, Victorville and two in San Bernardino. The clinics have been administering the Moderna vaccine for almost six weeks, and Arteaga said it’s highly effective based on what he’s seen.
He believes the other vaccines being used in the United States are probably just as effective.
Arteaga said that some critics may point to the six-percentage point difference between 94 percent and 100 percent to question the Moderna vaccine’s effectiveness, but the percentages are for the population at large.
“Six percent is a very low percentage,” he said, and some people may be at a higher level of protection than the general population.
Dr. Arteaga said seniors and others eligible for the vaccine per state and local guidelines should call LaSalle Medical Associates at 1-855-349-6019 and schedule an appointment to be vaccinated.
“When we get the vaccine, we don’t hoard it. We give it out as quickly as we can,” he said.
The recent storms that hit parts of the United States have affected LaSalle to some degree, he said, but, at the worst, vaccinations would be briefly paused until new shipments are received, he said.
Dr. Arteaga said he has received both doses of vaccine himself, and he did not suffer any severe reactions.
“I had mild soreness in my arm after the first dose,” he said. “It’s the second dose that tends to give a little more of a reaction, and I did feel like a mild flu for about 24 hours after the second dose, but it quickly cleared up.
He said he believes it’s OK for people to take Tylenol if they suffer discomfort after their second dose.
“We have had vaccines for other illnesses forever, and we tell mothers, ‘Yes, give your child some Tylenol.’ There are no signs that it blunts the immune response. It’s a theoretical possibility, but it’s just theoretical. Go ahead and take your Tylenol.”
Dr. Arteaga is a nationally recognized expert on immunizations. In 2012, he was honored by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which selected him as California’s first “Childhood Immunization Champion.”
About LaSalle Medical Associates: LaSalle Medical Associates is one of the largest independent minority-owned healthcare companies in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The corporate office is in Redlands.
Photo Caption: LaSalle has Covid 19 vaccines for their patients.