Gov. Gavin Newsom Details Vaccine Distribution Plan Amid Widened Stay-at-Home Order

California is set to receive 327,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 15 and distribute 2.16 million doses by the end of the month.

“Hope is on the horizon,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday during a morning news conference in Sacramento.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is meeting on Dec. 10 to consider an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine. If that’s approved, Newsom said the first 327,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer will be arriving in California five days later.

The FDA will make a decision about the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 17, which will lead to a total of more than 2 million doses being distributed by the end of December. Newsom said distribution of that vaccine will be handled in partnership with McKesson, while Pfizer is handling distribution on its own. The governor announced last week that the first recipients will include acute care workers, employees in skilled nursing homes, paramedics and employees at dialysis centers.

Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley regions are in the first day of a three-week modified lockdown, triggered by a region’s ICU capacity dropping below 15%. ICU capacity in Southern California is currently at 10.9%.

The order requires that restaurants close to both indoor and outdoor dining and are limited to takeout or delivery; bars, wineries, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and other personal care services have to close; retail stores can stay open, but must drop capacity to 20%; and private gatherings of any size will be prohibited. Film production is allowed to continue.

“I’m deeply empathetic to the cause of supporting our small businesses,” Newsom said in response to a question about criticism surrounding restaurant closures.

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