First vaccine shipment won't cover all San Diego County health care workers who need it

Posted at 4:40 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 20:19:25-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – While 28,000 doses of the vaccine might sound like a lot, the county says it still won’t be enough to cover health care workers at the top of the list to get it.

It’s a start, but immunologist Dr. Robert Schooley says we still have a long way to go.

“It’s going to take a while but at least now we understand what the endpoint will be,” said Schooley.

RELATED: How a COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed to San Diego's medical workers

According to San Diego County, the initial shipment of 28,000 vaccines will only cover 72% of the top-tier health are workers who need it. That’s not enough for long-term care residents and staff who are also in the phase 1A top-tier to receive it.

The shipment will only cover the first of two doses necessary for the Pfizer vaccine. The second doses will come in subsequent shipments.

While there won’t be enough doses for all the front-line workers at UCSD, it is giving them hope.

“The good news is we’ll be getting quite a few doses of the vaccine," Schooley says. “We’ll be getting farther down the list than we thought we were going to get.”

The next hurdle for the vaccine is gaining widespread public trust.

“These vaccines have been in tens-of-thousands of people and the FDA has gone over the data extremely carefully,” said Schooley. “I certainly would have no qualms myself about getting vaccinated this afternoon.”

Schooley says about 70% of the population would need to get vaccinated to reach herd immunity. He estimated that could take up to 9 months.

The county expects the next shipment of vaccines in three to four weeks.