Bay Area hospitals brace for COVID vaccine shipment

source https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area-can-expect-covid-vaccine-next-week/

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — In the Bay Area, residents can expect about 75,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local hospitals are getting ready.

The initial shipments of the vaccines are expected to arrive next week. That will be intended for healthcare workers and first responders.

“We could store hundreds of thousands of vaccines right now at UCSF without an issue,” Desi Kotis said.

Dr. Desi Kotis, chief pharmacy officer for UCSF, says the hospital is expecting 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for workers with the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19.

An additional batch with the second dose for the 975 to be vaccinated is anticipated in coming weeks.

Dr. Kotis says UCSF has been planning for distribution since October.

“We do have ultra cold storage. They look like sort of a household refrigerator the ultra cold minus 70 degree freezers and they can hold quite a bit,” she said. “Each vaccine vile is tiny is 2 ml, 5 doses in that little tiny vile.”

The proper freezers are also set at john muir health in Walnut Creek and Concord.

The healthcare system is expecting about 5,000 doses for workers in the emergency department, ICU and units that have COVID patients.

The Bay Area is set to receive about 75,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine — that was just FDA approved for emergency use.

Santa Clara County is expecting the most doses at just over 17,000.

While the vaccine requires two doses officials are being told not to hold any back for second round shots.

Medical supply experts say the general population considered low risk will most likely receive the vaccine in the spring of 2021.

Tina Murphy, chief commercial officer at Global Healthcare Exchange, said the vaccines two dose requirement will have logistical challenges ahead.

“When you give it to a population, you’ve got to come back to that same population 60 days later, people will move if they don’t get that second dose then the first dose is a waste,” Murphy said.

recent data shows pfizer’s vaccine offers strong protection after the first dose

in recent weeks, pfizer and its competitor moderna published data showing their vaccines to be more than 90% effective.

The FDA will review Moderna’s vaccine next week.

Moderna’s vaccine does not require a deep freeze like Pfizer and while the vaccines offer great hope of life getting back to normal — health experts say do not let your guard down now, keep wearing masks, social distance – we still have a long winter ahead of us.

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