COVID-19 vaccine: Here's what 1st round of distribution will look like in Marin Co.

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Saturday, December 12, 2020
How Marin Co. is distributing 1st wave of COVID-19 vaccine
Marin County could receive close to 2,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine in a matter of days. Here's what the distribution plans look like.

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Marin County could receive close to 2,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine in a matter of days.

"This is moving really quickly. I'm amazed that we're going to be able to start vaccinating people next week," said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer.

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Willis says the county is going to receive 1,950 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. He expects the county will receive Moderna's vaccine about a week later.

He says Bay Area counties, like Marin, are receiving vaccines from state stockpiles on a per-capita allocation with some modifications based on the number of hospitals.

The initial round of vaccines will arrive at local health departments first. Willis says in two to three weeks, local hospitals may start to receive vaccine doses directly in parallel to the local health departments.

"We don't want to sit on these vaccines in refrigerators for too long, we want to get them out to the healthcare workers that need them best," said Willis.

VIDEO: Moderna begins late phase COVID-19 vaccine trials for children

The pharmaceuticals giant Moderna has begun late-stage testing of their coronavirus vaccine on minors. Roughly 3,000 children between the ages of 12 and 18 have been enrolled in the trial.

Willis calls the Pfizer vaccine high maintenance, because it requires negative 80 degrees Celsius to be stored.

"Once it comes out of that deep freezer you have about five days in normal refrigeration before you use it," said Willis.

Marin County will work with its three hospitals to distribute the vaccine based on staffing numbers.

Kaiser Permanente tells ABC7 News it has applied to be a vaccine provider in every market where it operates, and will offer it to those who meet the criteria in each phase of the prioritization process.

Marin County will also allocate doses for skilled nursing facility staff.

RELATED: CA could vaccinate 1 million people against COVID-19 this month

"85% of the deaths in Marin county have been among people who live in long-term care facilities and so we know that vaccinating staff there is a critical step," said Willis

Second-tier distribution will include other hospital staff not on the frontlines, healthcare workers in outpatient settings and the county's first responders.

Willis says Marin County recognizes different communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

"We are working with our community clinics in several low-income communities to get vaccine doses earlier to them," said Willis.

He says the county is working to get every vaccinated as timely as possible with March being realistic to think the vaccine could be offered to the community as a whole.

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