First doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Contra Costa County

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First doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Contra Costa County
Photo credit: Pfizer

Contra Costa County received its first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine — just over 9,700 vaccinations — Tuesday morning.

Initial doses of the vaccine, which was approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will be distributed to acute care hospitals countywide in order to immunize frontline healthcare workers working in the highest-exposure settings, such as intensive care and emergency units.

The first doses will be administered to staff members at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez during a media event at 4 p.m. today.

The County expects to receive another 22,000 additional vaccines next week, and further shipments are expected in ensuing weeks on a regular basis, officials said.

A plan to deliver vaccines to skilled nursing facilities is expected to begin the last week of December. A partnership with CVS and Walgreens will send staff from those companies to those facilities to administer vaccinations.

The County has formed a committee to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines, which public health officials expect won’t be widely available to the general public until mid-2021.

While the arrival of the vaccinations are being celebrated, a surge in COVID-19 cases continues its threat to local hospital capacity. Conta Costa public health officials are urging residents to stay home, not gather with people outside of their households, and to wear a mask and socially distance when around others outside of their households.

For local information about COVID-19 vaccine, visit coronavirus.cchealth.org/vaccine.