Monday, May 3 was a big day for the owner and staff at Serenity Mental Health. After weeks of painstaking preparation, the health care company has now officially branched out into COVID-19 vaccine administration.
While the public turnout has been fairly small thus far, this has not in any way hindered the enthusiasm of Serenity Health staffers, who are ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible area residents at the company’s drive-up vaccination POD, or Point of Dispensary, three days per week.
“It’s going great but there are not a lot of people coming out, I’m really surprised,” Serenity Mental Health owner Gaby Cruz told the Pahrump Valley Times earlier this week.
Cruz noted that Pahrump Fire Chief and Nye County Emergency Management Director Scott Lewis said the numbers at the COVID-19 PODs hosted by the county have been lower than they were in the beginning as well, and there are many factors that could be impacting the reduced numbers. One such reason for the decreased demand could be that many who were clamoring to receive the vaccine have already done so. In addition, some people may have been waiting to get their vaccine in order to ensure that those in more vulnerable population categories or with high-risk jobs were able to get their doses completed first, and without too much delay.
Now that the initial rush to be vaccinated seems to have passed, the demand has slowed down, meaning those who still want to be vaccinated may not have to face the enormously long lines that have been the hallmark of vaccination events over the past four months. With lines so short, this could serve as an encouragement to those who have not yet gotten their vaccine, as they can comfortably expect the process to be fairly quick and easy.
“We’ve been doing five to 10 vaccines a day so there haven’t been that many people coming out. But again, we just started. We just need to continue spreading the word,” Cruz stated, adding that signage could be one reason that people haven’t been coming out in droves to Serenity’s vaccine PODs. “Everybody who drove in said we needed more signage so we have ordered more and hopefully that will help bring people out!” she stated.
Members of the public are not the only ones receiving their vaccines through the efforts of Serenity Health, either. Cruz detailed that Serenity Health, which is contracted to provide medical services at Nye County Detention Centers, has also been administering vaccines to inmates.
“We started vaccinating ICE inmates, and they are all done, with the exception of course of those who have refused, and we’re starting on those in the jail, so we are hoping that will be done very soon,” she said. “And then we’re just going to continue serving the community with our public vaccine PODs.”
Cruz noted that at this time, she is looking for another venue to conduct Serenity Health’s vaccinations.
As it stands today, Serenity Health’s vaccinations are being undertaken at what is known as the Pahrump Medical Center, which was once the Healthcare Partners of Nevada office building, located at 1503 E. Calvada Blvd. However, Nye County is now seeking to have the old Pahrump Medical Center leased out, which means Serenity Health will need to find another location fit for their needs.
“I think I have a couple of ideas, and there are a lot of supportive people in the community who have reached out and offered support, so that’s been really cool,” Cruz said.
In the meantime, Serenity Health staffers will continue to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the public who show up at the vaccine PODs at 1503 E. Calvada Blvd., which take place each Monday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and each Wednesday and Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. COVID-19 testing is also available during these hours. There are no appointments necessary.
For more information contact Serenity Health at 775-751-5211.
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at email@example.com
For additional details on Serenity Health’ vaccination effort refer to previous coverage of the topic, available online at pvtimes.com