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At approximately 10AM Thursday morning the first shipment of coronavirus vaccine arrived in Sonoma County. The 4875 dose shipment consists of 5 boxes, each containing 975 doses. Three of those boxes will be distributed beginning today to the three acute care hospital systems in Sonoma County, with the health department retaining two boxes totaling almost 2K doses.

The Pfizer vaccine must be transported on dry ice and stored at minus 80 degrees Celsius (more than -90 degrees F). Therefore it must be distributed by facilities that have the capability to properly store it, such as the three major Sonoma County hospitals.

County health officer Dr. Sundari Mase says the first to be inoculated will be front line healthcare workers, with other doses going to others in the healthcare community as well as public safety staff. Also in Tier 1 for early treatment will be staff and residents of long term care facilities. However Dr. Kismet Baldwin, Sonoma County’s deputy public health officer said the first shipment of the vaccine will most likely not reach this group.

This week a similar vaccine produced by Moderna received a positive preliminary report from the FDA. Emergency approval from the FDA is expected by the end of the week. Approximately 5800 doses of this vaccine are expected to arrive in Sonoma County sometime next week.

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