The first COVID-19 vaccinations in the Bay Area could happen within just a couple days.
As medical staff gear up to start giving shots, doctors and nurses are also pouring over that new CDC guidance that includes more information for some key groups — including people with compromised immune systems and women who are pregnant.
UCSF is expecting to get its first box of 975 doses by Tuesday and it could potentially get more than one box.
According to the CDC’s guidelines issued last week, the first people eligible to get any of the first doses are frontline health care workers as well as residents and employees of long term care facilities.
Additional guidance issued Saturday by the CDC specifically mentions women who are pregnant. They will have the option of being vaccinated but are being urged to discuss it with their doctors.
UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Doctor Monica Gandhi said that group was not included in Pfizer’s clinical trials.
“You know, I would favor giving people who are pregnant or breastfeeding the vaccine,” she said. “Because there have been some severe COVID outcomes in pregnancy.”
Gandhi said she would recommend the same for patients whose immune systems are compromised because the vaccine doesn’t contain a live virus.
The first shots going to health care workers will have an immediate effect on stretched medical resources.
That’s because Gandhi says frontline doctors and nurses will have peace of mind knowing that if they get sick, it’s not coronavirus.
“Even that idea that when you feel that cold, you know it’s not COVID, and you don’t have to stay out of work, means that we’ll have a better workforce ready to fight the virus,” said Gandhi.
UCSF is among three hospitals to be getting the first batch of doses in the Bay Area.
Stanford is expecting 3,900 doses by Wednesday.
Zuckerberg General Hospital will also be getting the vaccine, no details yet about when or how many it will be getting.
“You’re looking at about 150,000 doses,” said Governor Gavin Newsom at a recent tour to UC Davis Medical Center.He showed ultra-cold freezers that will be used to hold its vials of the vaccine.
California will be getting 327,000 doses in total, which will be distributed to key hospitals across the state.