Fresno County to receive 7,800 COVID-19 vaccines in 1st shipment of doses

The department said Fresno County will receive 7,800 initial doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as mid-December.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the possibility of a three-week stay-at-home order looms for the Central Valley, Fresno County health officials provided an update on where the county lies when it comes to hospital capacity and how soon they'll receive vaccines.

The health department said Fresno County will receive 7,800 initial doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as mid-December.

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The United States' Operation Warp Speed chief science adviser Moncef Slaoui said earlier this week he hoped for FDA approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine by December 10.

It seems the state and Fresno County are hoping for approval by then, too.

California will have a committee review vaccines before they're distributed across the state. Local health officials said they're hoping to have the vaccine within a few days of the state's green light.

Fresno County health officials said those initial doses would be distributed to the most high-risk hospital staff, including doctors, nurses and support staff.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines need to be administered in two doses over the course of a few weeks. Local health officials said the state is holding the required second doses for this first group when they're needed.

The department said they're expecting another shipment of vaccines by late December, which could provide an additional 40,000 doses.

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On Thursday afternoon, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced those who will be first in line for Pfizer vaccines in the state.

As for the county's hospital capacity, health officials said many are filling up, and ICU rates are nearly full.

EMS crews are also seeing a spike in calls, and the department urged people not to call an ambulance unless the situation is dire. Instead, people should contact their healthcare providers or go to an urgent care facility.

Health leaders said the biggest way to help ease the hospital system's stress is community prevention and said residents should stop "inessential mixing," continue social distancing and wearing masks.

This is a developing story.
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