ANAHEIM, Calif. - As Orange County sets a new record for positive COVID-19 cases reported in a single day, area hospitals are preparing to receive the first shipment of the Pfizer-manufactured vaccine.
According to health officials, the OC Health Care Agency will distribute the initial supply of 25,350 doses of the vaccine to high-risk health care workers at all 33 of its hospitals as part of "Phase 1a" of a multi-phased plan developed by the California Department of Public Health. The department expects to receive the initial shipment on Dec. 15.
"The first phase of the vaccine distribution will protect our healthcare workers, so they may safely care for others," said Supervisor Doug Chaffee.
OCHCA Deputy Agency Director, Dr. Margaret Bredehoft, says the department is anticipating a second shipment of the vaccine the week of Dec. 21 with as many as 170,000 doses delivered by the end of the year.
"It’s nice to look out into the future but right now, our teams' focus is on how we can do Phase 1a efficiently and by the time it’s rolled out to the public we’ve worked out all the kinks," said Bredehoft.
The OCHCA set a new record of positive cases in a single day with 2,613 COVID-19 cases with 974 patients being hospitalized.
While Orange County health officials anticipate the vaccine being available to all residents by Spring 2021, they also admit some are opposed to the treatment.
"We recently conducted a survey on vaccine hesitancy so I know there’s a lot of vaccine hesitancy in this community, but we’re very hopeful the vaccine will be a beacon of hope and I think they will embrace it," said Bredehoft.