Bay Area counties on standby to receive 1st batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

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.

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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.

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The first doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 will soon be on the way to California and the Bay Area and an army of medical personnel are ready to take delivery of the long-awaited shots.



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.

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"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.

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