Vaccinations for healthcare workers start this week, provided shipments are delivered as expected.
Cases in California have hit dangerous heights in recent weeks, causing most of the state to go into a Regional Stay-At-Home order. Even still, cases continue to hit record numbers across the state, putting ICU capacities at hospitals alarmingly low.
On Sunday, many felt glimpses of hope as the first set of doses left Michigan. Around 145 distribution centers across the nation are expected to receive their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine as early as today (Monday). An additional 636 sites are expected to receive doses on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Late Sunday evening, Governor Newsom tweeted that hope had finally arrived, as Los Angeles International Airport confirmed the arrival of the first delivery.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine on Friday, allowing for its distribution nationwide. It’s the first to be approved by the FDA, and is currently only recommended for individuals 16 and older. Also in the works is the Moderna vaccine, which will be reviewed by the FDA this Thursday at a Vaccine Advisory Committee Meeting.
Initally, California is expected to receive over 327,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, at hospitals and medical centers that can accommodate the extremely low temperature necessary for storage (94 degrees below zero). The state will receive another 327,000 doses within a few weeks, as the vaccine requires two shots, 21 days apart.
The first doses will be given to frontline healthcare workers, as well as long-term care facility residents and staff. Exact timing is dependent upon delivery, but health centers are preparing to roll out vaccinations to the people with the greatest risk of exposure as soon as shipments arrive.
It is expected to be months before the vaccine is available to the general public, but the approval of another vaccine could help speed up that process.
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