San Mateo County begins COVID-19 vaccination program

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San Mateo County received an initial 5,850 doses of the Pfizer vaccine Tuesday and expects to receive additional allotments in ensuing weeks of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine doses, with 24,000 to 30,000 vaccines expected by the end of December, officials said.

The December deliveries should be enough to provide the first of two needed doses to about 24,000 of the projected 38,000 health care workers in San Mateo County, officials said.

“The first groups to receive vaccines will be health care workers, medical first responders, and residents in long term care facilities,” County officials said.

This afternoon, County officials posted photos online of sub-zero freezers being delivered to the San Mateo Medical Center, as the vaccine must be stored safely in ultra-cold freezers. The vaccine “will be distributed to the six general acute hospitals in San Mateo County, which will administer them to staff,” according to the County.

Future shipments “are already in process and will provide the second doses for these critical groups,” officials said.

A CDC program will send staff from Walgreens and CVS to congregate care facilities to administer the vaccine doses. There are an estimated 8,000 residents of long-term care facilities in the County.

Next in line for County-distributed vaccines will be essential workers, officials said.

“These residents are critical to our daily existence and are at highest risk of becoming infected, severely ill, or spreading COVID-19,” officials said.

Although additional vaccines are expected to be approved early next year, widespread availability may not occur until mid-2021, health officials say.

For more information about the County’s vaccine program, go here.

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