History made Monday as California frontline workers receive COVID-19 vaccine

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Of the 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine making their way across the country -- more than 325,000 are headed to California.

The first shots are already being given in some parts of the state. After nearly 10 months, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Health care workers in California have now started receiving the vaccine, which is administered in two doses, three weeks apart.

Counties across the Valley are now anxiously waiting for their doses to arrive in the coming days.

"Help is on the way. This is just the first step," said nurse Kim Taylor.

Gov. Gavin Newsom echoed those words but remained cautious -- speaking from the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center -- where the first shots were administered.

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"It is a day where we can lay claim to the fresh air of progress versus that stale air of normalcy, but none the less, we have to be sober and mindful about the moment we are in, which is challenging and trying," said Governor Newsom.

The first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine left Michigan early Sunday for 145 distribution centers nationwide.

The vaccines were sent to hospitals that can store the vaccine in ultra-low temperature freezers.

According to Gov. Newsom, California received more than 33,000 doses initially -- nearly the same as the number of new coronoavirus cases the state recorded Monday.

"Today is hopeful and there's reason to be optimistic, but let's be mindful of where we really are in terms of this pandemic," said Newsom.

Fresno County is expected to receive 7,800 doses of the vaccine in the next 24 hours, while close to 3,000 doses will arrive in Tulare County early next week just as hospital bed space in our region has become scarce.

"Over this weekend, one part of our state, San Joaquin, ran out of ICU beds. They are officially in surge capacity," said Newsom.
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