Twenty-four hours after the FDA granted an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, several Bay Area counties say they are ready to receive the first batch.
"The county doesn't have any real say in the priority, but we are given a tier system. We help to allocate those doses that we get to the hospitals to make sure they receive what they need," said Marty Fenstersheib, vaccine and testing officer for Santa Clara County.
Some counties are projected to receive more vaccines than others. Santa Clara County is expecting more than 17,000 doses. According to Dr. Fenstersheib their COVID-19 numbers are more than 1,000 cases a day.
"The health department is going to take it upon itself in our county to provide vaccine for the staff at skilled nursing facility," said Dr. Fenstersheib.
Also among the first to get the vaccine are veterans in VA's long-term health care facilities.
The Palo Alto VA was selected as one of 37 VA sites to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"This is just the first allocation. People should realize that this is a very small amount of vaccine. We will see vaccine shipments hopefully each week for the next months," said Dr. Fenstersheib.
John Muir Health in Contra Costa County have two freezers ready for the Pfizer vaccine. One is in Concord and a second in Walnut Creek.
"We are setting up time slots for our frontline workers to be able to come through and be vaccinated first. We are getting all that in place and making sure that we have all the logistics down," said Ben Drew, John Muir Health director of communication.
Contra Costa County is projected to receive roughly 10,000 doses.
"We put in a request for 4,875 doses so nearly 5,000. We don't know if we are going to receive that many but we can accommodate them if we do," Drew said.
As the wait for the Pfizer vaccine distribution continues, medical experts are hoping a second vaccine is authorized soon.
"The state has told us we'll be getting well over 600,000 of the Moderna vaccine and we hope to get about 39,000 doses of Moderna, maybe as early as the week of the 21st of December," said Dr. Fenstersheib.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- COVID-19 risk calculator: The safest and most dangerous things to do this holiday season
- Want to get a COVID-19 test in time for the holidays? Here's what you need to know
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- Map shows everywhere you can get a COVID-19 test in the Bay Area
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during pandemic
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- Health experts urge flu shots in effort to avoid 'twindemic'
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic