San Francisco begins inoculating health care workers

San Francisco has now begun the process of inoculating medical workers against coronavirus.

Five people received the vaccine on Tuesday, the first of thousands of doses that will be administered in the days, weeks and months ahead.

It's a sight San Francisco public health officials have been preparing for, as the first Pfizer vaccinations got underway at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

"We gave our first vaccination for COVID-19 here at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital to Dr. Antonio Gomez, a critical care physician who has been taking care of some of our sickest COVID patients," said Dr. Grant Colfax from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Protecting front line health care workers is a major part of the strategy to combat coronavirus. The inoculations in San Francisco were the first of more than 12,000 doses for acute care workers.

"We will be rolling out vaccine this week starting tomorrow to many many more front-line workers," said Dr. Colfax.

City leaders warn that despite the welcome news that vaccine is being distributed, San Franciscans need to bear down and continue to adhere to safety guidelines.

"We still have some time where we got to go through this process and ask people to be patient, but also continue to wear our masks and socially distance and not come together," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

Even as the Pfizer vaccine is being administered, the Food and Drug Administration could authorize the use of another vaccine by the end of the week.

"We expect if everything goes according to the regulatory process for the Moderna vaccine at the federal and state level that the Moderna vaccine will be received next week," said Dr. Colfax.

This first round of vaccinations will be going to medical workers and those in long term and nursing home facilities.

City leaders said 'the general population will likely not have access until the vaccine supply is no longer limited, which is expected to be later in 2021."