The arrival of Orange County’s first batch of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is delayed until Wednesday, health officials said.
The county was initially set to receive its supply of 25,350 doses on Tuesday, but that shipment is now expected to arrive Wednesday, according to O.C. Health Care Agency Dr. Margaret Bredehoft.
It’s unclear what led to the delay.
“I know that there’s some really rigid protocols relative to security, transport, the delivery, storage and distribution,” O.C. supervisor Lisa Bartlett said when asked about the vaccine delay. “We’re trying to get up millions of doses of vaccine across the United States, all at the same time.”
California got 327,000 doses from Pfizer in its first batch of vaccines, with health workers at Kaiser Permenante Los Angeles Medical Center becoming the first people in the state to get vaccinated against the coronavirus Monday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom stood watch as ICU nurse Helen Cordova got the first shot.
“Hope is here,” the governor said. “As our first doses of vaccine arrive, the promise of ending the pandemic is on the horizon. By taking collective, inclusive action across all 58 counties to get people vaccinated, we can get through to a healthier future for all.”
As part of the state’s phased rollout plan, hospitals will be prioritizing high-risk health care workers and those in skilled nursing facilities while vaccine supplies are scarce.
In Orange County, UCI Medical Center in Orange is expected to get a shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine this week.
Nearly 600 people signed up to be vaccinated within the first few hours, UCI Health CEO Chad Lefteris told KTLA.
Newsom said that while the vaccine brings hope, California is still facing its most intense surge in infections so far and people must stick to following the rules — especially since mass vaccination is still months away.
“While we have prepared for this surge with beds and equipment, staffing shortages are real and impact our medical system,” Newsom said. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel and I am calling on all Californians to do our part to get us through this.”