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Two million COVID-19 vaccines given in Riverside County

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Four individuals pose with a banner that says, "Two Million Doses Riverside County!" A young man holds balloons and flowers.
From left: Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung, Julian Menendez, Rolando Menendez and Board Chair Karen Spiegel.

Less than two months after the one millionth COVID-19 dose was administered, Riverside County is celebrating the delivery of two million and two million plus one doses administered to a father-son duo. This is an important step for Riverside County in its mission to provide COVID-19 vaccines to those who live and work in the county. The first COVID-19 vaccinations in Riverside County were administered in December 2020.

Julian Menendez, 17 of Moreno Valley, represented the two millionth dose with cheers and fanfare from the nurses and staff at the Moreno Valley Mall vaccination clinic. When asked how he felt about getting the two millionth dose, Julian Menendez, said “It feels pretty good.” The senior at Canyon Springs High School will start college in the fall at Cal State University, San Bernardino, studying Kinesiology.

His father, Rolando Menendez, 46, immediately followed with dose 2,000,001. Both received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“We want to take care of our family, but we have other families to take care of too,” said Rolando Menendez. “We are a community that needs to stick together. The more people who get the vaccine, the less people will get sick. Plus, we have lost relatives over the virus. This (vaccine) is our responsibility.”

Public health officials also remind residents that positive cases of coronavirus continue to decline as the county and providers administer more vaccine.

“Seeing our case rates decline as our vaccination rates increase has been welcome relief in this unprecedented pandemic,” said Public Health Director Kim Saruwatari. “We share credit for this impressive milestone with our many community partners, healthcare provider and community-based organizations who have worked tirelessly alongside our county team to protect the community.”

Shortly after vaccine became available, Riverside County activated its Incident Management Team to coordinate distribution of vaccinations to its 2.4 million residents and those who work in the county. The effort to provide vaccinations continues and the county is working to ensure vaccinations are easily accessible to everyone eligible.

“Today’s milestone brings us one step closer to emerging from this pandemic stronger, healthier, together,” said Board Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor. “We are seeing the effects from these vaccinations every week in our improved COVID-19 numbers. It’s encouraging to kick off summer with such positive data that clearly indicates the region is moving through recovery.”