Los Angeles County expects to receive 83,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine next week and 500,000 by the end of 2020.
Mayor Eric Garcetti made the vaccine announcement Thursday, saying that FDA approval indicates the vaccine would be “safe and effective.”
“This is a monumental victory for Angelenos and a hopeful day for all Americans,” Garcetti said. “Vaccines will be our most important tool in getting this crisis under control.”
The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommended the emergency use of the vaccine created by Pfizer and BioNTech, Friday, and later that night, the FDA announced the authorization for its use.
“Following yesterday’s positive advisory committee meeting outcome regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed the sponsor that it will rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization,” the FDA said in a statement. “The agency has also notified the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed, so they can execute their plans for timely vaccine distribution.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom expects the Pfizer vaccines to be available for distribution by Tuesday, Dec. 15., with the state of California securing more than 327,000 doses and an expectation of acquiring 2.15 million doses by the end of December.
Newsom detailed the plans for the vaccine, saying they will be distributed in three phases, with doses being prioritized by groups consisting of critical healthcare workers and long-term care residents.
While this initial vaccine run will be distributed to roughly 163,000 people, when considering the 327,000 vaccines must be given in two doses, Newsom said that there will be more coming to California in January, February and March.
“There is light at the end of this tunnel. We are not in a permanent state — this is a temporary state,” Newsom said. “This is the third wave of a pandemic … with a vaccine that is now being distributed, not by one distributor, but by many different distributors … that we have been monitoring through our scientific safety review. Help is on the way.”
Newsom tweeted out Friday that the state’s ICU capacity had dropped below 10% and urged medical professionals to reactivate or restore their licences if possible, saying that any fees for the process would be covered.
There is less than 10% ICU capacity statewide. Staffing remains the number one issue.
If you are a medical professional we need your help. We will pay for your time and fees for reactivating or restoring licenses.
Sign up for the CA Health Corps NOW. https://t.co/e82f36Abzd
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 11, 2020
Los Angeles has been under the state’s mandated Stay-At-Home order since December 6, as the Southern California region’s ICU capacity dropped below 25% with 105 ICU beds currently remaining across the county, 71 being adult beds.
For the second consecutive day, L.A. County broke a single-day high in positive COVID-19 infections, with 13,815. on Friday The county’s current hospitalizations also reached a high of 3,642.