UPDATE: Public Health waiting on vaccines, expected to dole out to local hospitals

filephoto pfizer vaccine
Posted at 2:08 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 19:04:00-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kern County Public Health said it is still waiting on shipments of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine but when they arrive, there is already a schedule to begin distributing those vaccines to local hospitals.

Public Health said that the vaccines will be distributed to hospitals in the following doses:

  • Adventist Health Bakersfield – 1045 doses
  • Adventist Health Delano – 305 doses
  • Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley – 240 doses
  • Bakersfield Heart Hospital – 275 doses
  • Bakersfield Memorial Hospital – 1040 doses
  • Good Samaritan Hospital – 140 doses
  • Kern Medical Center – 1125 doses
  • Kern Valley Healthcare District – 110 doses
  • Mercy Southwest Hospital – 430 doses
  • Mercy Hospital – 795 doses
  • Ridgecrest Regional Hospital – 345 doses

Dr. Hemmal Kothary of Dignity Health said that the county will receive this first round of doses for the vaccine and distribute them to the hospitals. After that, the vaccines will be sent to Dignity Health and other providers to be shipped out to hospitals.

Dr. Kothary said this first round of vaccines will most likely go to healthcare workers in hospitals who are on a priority list. He said priority will be given to high-risk workers such as doctors, nursing staff, cleaning staff, and transportation staff who come in contact with COVID-19 positive patients frequently.

“We believe we’re going to get ample dosages coming in this next week and every week after, so we should have plenty of vaccines available," Dr. Kothary said.

The Pfizer vaccination process is a two-dose process, with a second dose given after 21 days. Dr. Kothary said each vaccine will take about 10 minutes to administer. Once administered, the patient will be monitored for 10 minutes to ensure there are no adverse side-effects, Dr. Kothary said.

After the vaccine is administered, Dr. Kothary said they will have to collect data and submit data to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"I think the FDA and the NCIP, they really put a lot of time and energy into looking at the data and analyzing it," Dr. Kothary said. "I feel pretty confident that this vaccine is safe, what we don’t know is how long it’s going to last."

Dr. Kothary said they still do not know if the vaccine will need further booster shots in the future to protect patients from the COVID-19 virus.

According to Dr. Kothary, the Pfizer vaccine trial had about 44,000 patients and vaccine efficiency was about 95% after the second dose.

The first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine left Michigan early Sunday for 145 distribution centers nationwide. California’s initial batch was scheduled to total 325,000 doses.

Dr. Kothary said some workers are still nervous about taking the first round of vaccines. He says a preliminary survey found that about 50% of local Dignity Health workers are willing to take the vaccine in the first round, with more staff willing to take it in the later rounds.

On Monday Governor Gavin Newsom launched a “Vaccinate All 58” campaign focused on getting all of California's 58 counties vaccinated.

On Thursday the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee will meet for the second time to discuss whether the regulator should authorize the Moderna vaccine.