1st shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrive at Valley Children's Hospital

Some of Central California's first COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Valley Children's Hospital, health officials say.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The arrival of a FedEx van in Fresno County signals a shift in the fight against the coronavirus.

The video provided by the county shows two boxes being delivered to the health department downtown, with a total of 7,800 of doses of the Pfizer Vaccine.

"We received our shipment and it was successful, everything was intact," said Joe Prado, Manager of the Community Health Division.

The vaccines were unboxed and stored in an ultra-cold freezer. Every dose of the first shipment will go to front line healthcare workers at local hospitals.

Forty percent of it has already been distributed.

Community Regional Medical Center plans to start vaccinating staff by Friday.

"We received about 4,470 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and we intend to provide that vaccine to all of our providers and staff who want to receive it," said Matt Joslin CRMC Vice President.

Madera County also received its shipment Tuesday morning.

About 1,000 doses guarded by sheriff's deputies were moved into Valley Children's Hospital, which will serve as a vaccine storage hub for the whole county.

A little more than 500 will go to staff here. The remainder will be given to Madera Community Hospital.

"The next priority is skilled nursing facilities, both residents and staff because those have been the highest risk people for poor outcomes with COVID," said Simon Paul, Madera County Department of Public Health, health officer.

In Tulare County, Kaweah Delta Medical Center is awaiting its first shipment of about 1000 doses, which is expected to arrive by Wednesday.

One-thousand more will go to Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville and another thousand to nursing homes

Gary Herbst, Kaweah Delta's Chief Executive Officer, says they're not making the vaccine mandatory.

"Some staff and some physicians will choose not to take the vaccine early on," he said.

Moderna's vaccine is expected to receive authorization from the FDA by Friday and make its way to the Valley soon -- with some counties receiving larger quantities than the first shipments from Pfizer.

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For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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