State to release plan this week for first vaccine distribution, Fresno County has capacity to store 100,000 doses

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

CENTRAL VALLEY Calif. (KGPE) – On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state is anticipating to get approximately 327,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December, but committees are still working to determine who specifically would get these doses. 

“What’s the priority on 327,000 doses? Who are the people we’re prioritizing? It’s one thing to say the healthcare sector, it’s another to say those that are working in congregate facilities, those working with vulnerable populations, but how do you break that down in even more detail, more specificity,” Newsom said. “That plan, detailed plan, will be out this week. It’s what we refer to as the phase one distribution plan.”

These vaccines require two doses and have to be stored in extremely cold temperatures. 

Newsom said the state anticipates getting the second doses within three weeks. 

Joe Prado, the community health division manager with the Fresno County Department of Public Health, said Tuesday that he had not been made aware of a specific allocation to Fresno County. But he added that the county has to capacity to store 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 

In Tulare County, Carrie Monteiro with the county’s Health & Human Services Agency, said they have ultra low temperature freezers capable of storing thousands of vaccines. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, spoke about COVID-19 vaccines in an interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday.

“I believe that will be as we enter into and get to the end of the second quarter of 2021,” Fauci said when asked when he expects anyone who wants to get the vaccine would be able to do so. “Starting with April and going into May, June, July, by that time, if people want to get it, they can get it, and hopefully everybody would want to get it.”

Fauci said if only 50% of the country gets vaccinated with a highly efficacious vaccine, there won’t be the “umbrella of protection of herd immunity.”

“What you really want is one, what we have, a highly efficacious vaccine, but you want 75, 85% of the people to get vaccinated. If we get to that point, and we, and people get vaccinated by the end of the second quarter of the year, you could have enough protection in this country that the pandemic as we know it will be well, well suppressed below the danger point,” he said. 

Gov. Newsom’s announcement that the state expects to receive about 372,000 doses by mid-December comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge across the state. 

As of Monday, 305 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized in Fresno County— that’s an increase of more than 200 patients in just one month. 

During the peak of the summer surge Fresno County experienced, 313 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized. 

“I think that we’re gonna well surpass that number,” said Dan Lynch, the Fresno County EMS director. 

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