County Announces Who Will Get COVID-19 Vaccine First After Final Approval

The distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out in three phases, with health care workers and long-term care facility residents and employees being the first recipients

A stock photo of a vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed to San Diego County residents in phases after final approval, with health care workers being the first recipients, according to the county.

As the U.S. inches closer to approving a vaccine made by biopharmaceutical company Pfizer, the region has already announced a plan to roll out the vaccine in three phases, a plan that was created by the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Prevention.

Phase 1A, 1B and 1C

In the first phase, which has three parts, health care workers will be the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine, followed by long-term care facility residents and employees. The county warns that the initial distribution may not be enough to cover everyone in those communities, but reassures the public that the second round of vaccines would arrive about three weeks after the first set.

With Phase 1B, essential workers will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Those who work in food and agriculture, education, transportation, and as firefighters, police officers and correctional officers among other sectors will be able to get the vaccine.

After that, Phase 1C will prioritize adults with underlying medical conditions and those who are over the age of 65.

Phase 2

Once all three groups of Phase 1 are satisfied, vaccine dosages will be available for children and adults under the age of 30.

The vaccine will also be available for critical workers who were not previously included in Phase 1.

A limited amount of the Pfizer vaccine will go to two San Diego military hospitals. NBC 7's Bridget Naso has the details.

Phase 3

Phase 3 will include everyone of all ages in the U.S.

The County states that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates by June 2021, everyone who would like to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus will be able to do so.

The Pfizer vaccine, which has a 95% effective rate, will be administered with two shots in the arm and may trigger side effects like fatigue, swelling, some pain, irritation or headache. Some patients who have taken the vaccine reported chills and low-grade fever, according to former FDA chief Dr. Margaret Hamburg.

Vaccine doses bought with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be free to Americans, according to the CDC. However, vaccination providers could charge an administration fee if they chose to.

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