OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - As COVID-19 cases surge out of control in California, health care workers received the first doses of the vaccine with residents at long-term care facilities next in line under the state's phased distribution pla.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday afternoon during a press briefing that early vaccination supply goes to the state's roughly 3 million frontline workers first.
He said 33,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine already arrived in the state with 327,600 doses expected on Wednesday and another 393,900 more next week. If Moderna gets the green light from the Federal Drug Administration for disruption of its COVID-19 vaccine, California could get an additional 672,000 doses next week.
Newsom said the next priority group for the COVID-19 vaccine could be essential workers, such as teachers, farmworkers, and grocery store employees that account for about 8 million Californians. However, the state's Community Advisory Committee will decide how the vaccine is distributed.
Newsom said that process is "based not on the whims of elected officials, not top-down, but a very comprehensive equity-based lens that's been advanced by experts in their fields."
While the vaccine offers a ray of hope for the pandemic's end, Newsom reminded Californians that the state is in the mist of an instense fight against the virus as daily cases counts continue to soar.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel—but we are still in the tunnel," he said.
The governor said California is at the peak of a third COVID wave, which forced the state to activate its Coroners Mutual Aid and Mass Fatality Program and order an additional 5,000 body bags.