Within 24 hours after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave its emergency-use approval to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, several Bay Area counties announced they are ready to receive their first batch of treatments.
A vaccine and testing officer for Santa Clara county, Marty Fenstersheib, said the region’s officials do not have any authority when it comes to deciding the prioritization of the vaccine. However, he noted that the state’s tier system helped authorities know which areas were more at risk by looking at which hospitals needed more support.
Many experts anticipate some counties to receive more vaccines. Santa Clara County is expecting to receive over 17,000 doses of the treatment. Fenstersheib said that the region’s coronavirus numbers record more than 1,000 new cases every day.
Fenstersheib said, “The health department is going to take it upon itself in our county to provide vaccine for the staff at skilled nursing facility.” Some of the first to receive the treatments include veterans in VA’s long-term health care facilities. Out of the 37 VA sites in the region, the Palo Alto VA was selected to receive some of the initial shipments of vaccines.
Fenstersheib said the distribution is only the beginning of the county’s plan to provide treatment to its residents. He noted that the first batches of shipments would hold only a small number of the vaccines—the medical professional expected to see more deliveries of the treatment every week for the next few months.
Contra Costa County’s John Muir Health prepared two freezers in anticipation of the incoming coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer. One is located in Concord while the other is found in Walnut Creek, ABC7 News reported.
The director of communication of John Muir Health, Ben Drew, said, “We are setting up time slots for our frontline workers to be able to come through and be vaccinated first.” He added that the county has been preparing the logistics to smoothen the process of distribution. Contra Costa is expecting about 10,000 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.
Drew said, “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.”
Fenstersheib said the state announced it would receive more than 600,000 coronavirus vaccines from the second candidate, Moderna, and added he hoped about 39,000 of which would go to the Contra Costa County.