SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday a coronavirus vaccine could be available in California as early as next month, but most people won’t be able to get it that fast.
Most people won’t get the vaccine until next year, Newsom said.
Health experts expect that eventually, people will be able to go to places like Walgreens and CVS and get the vaccine. But For now, the process has to be fair, so those most in need will go first.
Newsom is promising a “treasure trove” of California health experts will independently review any vaccine that is approved federally.
“A question I often get is: Are you going to take someone’s word for it as it relates to vaccines? Of course, we don’t take anyone’s word for it,” Newsom said.
He said the vaccine will be available to groups including first responders and those with the highest health risk by November or December this year. As for the majority of people, his best guess was after April next year.
“Don’t anticipate or expect that you can go down to a local pharmacy any time in this calendar year and likely get a vaccination,” he said.
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Big pharmacy companies are working fast, but doses of the vaccine will be few and far between. On top of that, each person will need two doses within 21 days. That’s why access needs to come in phases.
“Just have to make sure that we are doing this in an orderly fashion, we’re making recommendations for who should get vaccinated first,” said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a UCLA infectious disease expert.
Klausner said one of the toughest things about this vaccine rollout will be record-keeping, something he said the state does not do well right now.
“We also need to be working to create an easily accessible vaccine registry so people can show yes, they’ve been vaccinated, yes, they’re due for their second dose if that’s required,” Dr. Klausner said.
Dr. Klausner said capacity is critical, that we need to have the manpower available to distribute the vaccine quickly when the time comes.
“Imagine if we could have drive-thru vaccination along with drive-thru testing. And if our human resources aren’t sufficient, we should give strong consideration to deploying the national guard,” he said.
Newsom said Monday to remember that the vaccine will not end the pandemic overnight.
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