'Breathtaking': UCSF doctor explains impact of CA receiving 327,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- "We are anticipating 327,000 doses of the vaccine from Pfizer to come in the next few weeks," said Governor Gavin Newsom, who also revealed that he knows roughly when the vaccines will arrive, but didn't want to announce the date until he had the exact day.

He said those details will come out later in the week, along with the state's distribution plan outlining who will get the shot first.

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But, even without those details, Dr. Robert Wachter, Chair of Medicine at UCSF says the light at the tunnel is now brighter than ever.

"We're going to be seeing hundreds of thousands of people in California and millions of people in the United States get vaccinated by December, it's actually breathtaking," said Dr. Wachter who added that he has been pleasantly surprised at the speed of development on the vaccine front.

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The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose. That's expected to be available within three weeks of the first dose, which would complete the first round of vaccinations in California by January.

"The vaccines' implementation will happen at the speed of trust and that is part of the reason why we've built a set of committees, a set of actions and a set of communication with each of you," said health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

Dr. Wachter said he expects that frontline workers will be at the front of the line for the vaccine.

"We have to start with healthcare workers and probably people in nursing homes, and then as more vaccines become available, we'll get to more healthcare workers and more people in nursing homes and ultimately we will get to people over 65, people with pre-existing conditions."

RELATED: Bay Area frontline workers to be first to receive COVID-19 vaccine

The first shipment of vaccines may be a small one compared to California's population, but Dr. Wachter said it's a significant start.

"You're talking about a couple hundred thousand people that will be now safe, so you're going to save a whole bunch of lives," he said, "It's more than a drop in the bucket."

In a conversation with Facebook, Dr. Fauci said if all things go well, we could be living in a very different world by spring, next year.

"By the time we get to April, the normal, healthy young man or woman who's got no underlying conditions can walk into a CVS or a Walgreens and get vaccinated."

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