Hundreds of at-risk seniors vaccinated in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Hundreds of seniors received their first dose of a COVID vaccine in Orange County over the weekend, taking their first step toward seeing their families again.

The weekend vaccination event, which took place at the Southwest Senior Center in Santa Ana, was part of a a joint effort between the city of Santa Ana and Memorial Care. The site was set to vaccinate 350 underserved and at-risk seniors.

The partnership aims to eventually vaccinate 1,500 people.

Santa Ana residents Betty Dean and Lorrie Griffin were part of a long line of seniors waiting for their dose.

"Oh, long year. One we really don't want to relive," Dean said.

"We're all, especially in the community we live in, we haven't been able to use the community hall for get togethers or playing cards or anything. It's been rough," Griffin said.

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Following the recently released CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated Americans, some restrictions at Emerald Court Senior Living Facility in Anaheim have been lifted. Now, the residents can once again enjoy meals with others, safely.

Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento was on hand at the event.

"This is the beginning of the end for us in Santa Ana. We've been very hard hit. Our community has been devastated. We've had over 700 deaths," he said.

For many people in line, the clinic was just around the corner, so the vaccine was easily accessible.

Seniors can schedule their appointment for future clinics at, by calling (714) 667-2273 or by texting (323) 601-8377.

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