How first COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed to San Diego County's health care workers

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 5:10 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 02:20:44-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — County public health officials say the first shipment of a potential coronavirus vaccine from drug company Pfizer will only cover about 70% of the first group of recipients identified in Phase 1.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that Phase 1A of vaccine distribution covers health care workers, and residents and workers of nursing homes and long-term care facilities:

On top of that distribution structure, ACIP also split Phase 1A into three tiers to prioritize which groups of health care workers will receive a vaccine first:

Tier 1:

  • Acute care, psychiatric, and correction facility hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals
    • Include residents in these settings as recommended for Phase 1A and ACIP
  • Paramedics, EMTs, and others providing emergency medical services
  • Dialysis centers

Tier 2:

  • Intermediate care, for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision, and supportive care
  • Home health care and in-home supportive services
  • Community health workers, including promotoras
  • Public health field staff
  • Primary care clinics, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics

Tier 3:

  • Other setting and health care workings, including specialty clinics, laboratory workers, dental/oral health clinics, pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers

According to San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county will only receive enough doses to cover about 70% of one group in the first tier of Phase 1A.

"We are not even getting enough doses for that first dot point in tier one," Wooten said, referring to acute care, psychiatric, and correction facility hospitals. "We are basically getting just over 70%."

RELATED: What the FDA's review reveals about Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

San Diego County is expected to receive 28,275 doses of California's first allocation of 327,000 vaccine doses in mid-December. Wooten said there is about 39,000 personnel in the acute care hospital section alone.

"We anticipate that sometime next week, early next week, if not, on the weekend even, that we will get vaccines," Wooten said.

She added that those first vaccines will be distributed to three "prepositioned locations" in the county.