Sufficient doses to vaccinate all local health care providers and EMS responders against COVID-19 are expected to arrive in Calaveras County by the week’s end.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the first Californians to be vaccinated on Monday after the state received its first 327,600 doses of the Pfizer vaccine earlier in the day. An additional 672,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is nearing Food and Drug Administration approval, are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two-doses, several weeks apart.
According to Calaveras County Health and Human Services Director Kristin Stranger, more than 400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be allotted to the county this week—enough to vaccinate all local health care providers and EMS responders who are willing.
Under state allocation guidelines for the initial wave of vaccines, the first doses will be provided to health care providers and first responders, as well as skilled nursing facility residents and staff. The next tier will go to intermediate care centers including community care clinics, home healthcare, urgent care clinics and county Public Health field staff. The third tier will be for all other health care workers in laboratory settings, dental offices and pharmacies.
Dignity Health Mark Twain Medical Center in San Andreas—Calaveras County’s only hospital—is "working closely" with Public Health to prepare for the distribution of the vaccine once received.
"Employees are being prioritized for receiving the vaccine based on their risk, department and job role. Employees are strongly encouraged to receive the vaccine," hospital spokesperson Nicki Stevens told the Enterprise on Monday.
State officials have pledged to vaccinate all Californians who want it, with Newsom launching a "Vaccinate All 58" campaign on Monday.
“Hope is here. As our first doses of vaccine arrive, the promise of ending the pandemic is on the horizon. By taking collective, inclusive action across all 58 counties to get people vaccinated, we can get through to a healthier future for all,” Newsom said in a press release. “This is a moment for hope, and it is also a time to remain vigilant as we face the most intense surge yet. While we have prepared for this surge with beds and equipment, staffing shortages are real and impact our medical system. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and I am calling on all Californians to do our part to get us through this – wear a mask, reduce mixing, stay home, stop the spread and save lives. Together we will get through this.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has predicted that it will take months before one or more COVID-19 vaccines are available for all Americans who want it.
“Supplies will increase over time, and all adults should be able to get vaccinated later in 2021,” the CDC website reads. “However, a COVID-19 vaccine may not be available for young children until more studies are completed.”