Newsom explains plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in California


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday laid out the state’s plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines now that the first shipments from Pfizer have arrived in California.

According to Newsom, 33,150 vaccine doses were received at four sites in California as of Monday — Los Angeles, San Diego and two sites in Northern California. Vaccines will arrive at 24 more sites statewide Tuesday, and five more on Wednesday.

But offering some context, Newsom noted that the 33,150 doses received as of Monday roughly equated to the number of new COVID-19 cases confirmed across the state in the past day.

The state is expected to receive 327,600 doses in the first allotment. Newsom said Tuesday the state will receive 393,900 more doses from Pfizer next week. Pending federal approval of Moderna’s vaccination, the state is expected to receive 672,600 doses of that vaccine by the end of the month. The state hopes to receive as many as 2.16 million total doses by the end of the year, Newsom said.

Healthcare workers, residents and staff of skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities are all included in what is known as Phase 1A of the vaccination-distribution program, meaning they will receive the first doses. Newsom said that group includes about 3 million people statewide.

Phase 1B of the program will be “essential workers,” a category estimated to include 8 million people, Newsom said. Exact guidelines of what constitutes an “essential worker” and which will have the highest priority for vaccines have not been finalized. The state’s Community Vaccine Advisory Committee, made up of about 60 people from various groups and professional associations, is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Wednesday to discuss recommendations for prioritizing vaccines among essential workers.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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