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The first shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived in California Monday, with five healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center taking the first doses.

Los Angeles County received 82,875 of California’s  327,600 doses with the intention of vaccinating more healthcare workers such as Kim Taylor, an emergency room nurse at Kaiser Permanente who publicly took a dose, Monday.

“We front line workers have been working around the clock over the last nine months, sacrificing so much of what we do and love to take care of our patients,” Taylor said after taking the vaccine.

More than 17,000 vaccines were distributed to the Los Angeles Kaiser Permanente hospital, and all of those vaccinated will be scheduled to take a second dose 21 days after the first.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Hilda Solis were in attendance for the first vaccinations, speaking on the vaccine distribution plans both locally and at a state level.

“In the new year we will start vaccinating more broadly with a continued focus on equity, using that equity lens,” Solis said. “Los Angeles County will ensure that vaccines are eventually available in every neighborhood and to all people in Los Angeles, regardless of race, insurance status or ability to pay.”

A second shipment of vaccines is expected on December 21, with a third by the end of 2020, totaling approximately 500,000 for L.A. County.

Gov. Newsom said that that 627,000 additional vaccines are expected from Moderna Biotechnology as soon as they receive emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Newsom also addressed the distrust in the vaccines and beliefs that they are being rushed without proper testing, saying that he has full confidence in them.

“We had 11 world class experts— some of the finest scientists, doctors— three of which are working as advisors to the FDA and CDC,” Newsom said. “The best of the best independently reviewed, put their reputations on the line … and independently certified, unanimously, the efficacy and safety of this drug. We have all the confidence in the efficacy and safety of this vaccine.”

Newsom also said that he would not be “cutting a line” to receive the vaccine, giving way to healthcare and critical care workers who “are more deserving.”

Garcetti echoed Newsom’s statements on his trust in the vaccine, saying that they “have not been infected by politics.”

“You can trust them,” Garcetti said. “I trust them. When my ticket is the right one, I will be ready… with my family to make sure that I do my part to not only save lives, but to return our economy and our well-being and our prosperity and some normalcy to our lives.”

Los Angeles Public Health has recorded more than 4 million COVID-19 tests across the county, with 12% of those individuals testing positive. Of those more than 525,000 cases, 8,298 have led to COVID-19 related death, as of Sunday, Dec. 13.

LA Weekly