Health Officials Explain How Vaccine Distribution Will Work

Nico Payne

The U.S. continues to struggle with vaccine rollout.

“We knew this for months and we just didn’t do the planning and now we’re trying to play catch up,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown University, School of Public Health.

California is knee-deep in vaccine distribution.

“We actually have a little bit more Moderna doses now than we do Pfizer doses. 1.135 million Moderna doses now committed in this state. 1,090,000 Pfizer doses,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.

Local hospitals have received shipments of both vaccines and Riverside county is progressing through its distribution plan. There are several phases and different tiers within them, at this point most frontline healthcare workers have been vaccinated.

“The hospitals have been vaccinating their high-risk staff, we want them to get vaccinated so they can be protected,” said Kim Saruwatari, Director of Public Health with Riverside County.

Nursing homes are up next and they’re working directly with pharmacies.

“Walgreens and CVS are coordinating directly with our skilled nursing facilities and even some long term care facilities,” added Saruwatari.

Next in line, first responders and other medical workers not dealing with covid patients.

“We also are starting to vaccinate our first responders and so we’ve been working on developing a plan for that and it will be a multi-pronged approach,” said Saruwatari.

That rounds out tier one, but still, two more tiers left in phase 1A before moving on, beyond that the general public still a ways away from getting the vaccine.

In a conversation with Governor Newsom, Dr. Fauci offered some hope for a return to normality.

“So let’s say in April, it will be what I call open season, namely anybody, anybody who wants to get vaccinated can get vaccinated. if we do the kind of vaccines through April, May, June, July, by the time we get to the early fall we will have enough good herd immunity to be able to really get back to some strong assembling of normality,” said Dr. Fauci.

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