The county this week is expected to receive its first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, made to prevent COVID-19, Nevada County Public Health said.
In an update on its website, Nevada County Public Health said, “Nevada County’s first doses are going to front-line health care workers at our two hospitals.”
This week, Nevada County is expected to receive 975 doses of the vaccine.
In early December, the state Department of Public Health outlined the distribution of the state’s 327,000-dose first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine — with over 35,000 doses going to the 12-county region that includes Nevada County.
Nevada County’s skilled nursing or assisted living facilities have enrolled in the CDC’s Long Term Care Facility Pharmacy Partnership Program, and will be receiving the vaccine separately from the county’s allocation, according to Public Health.
In a COVID-19 update Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state is expecting an additional 393,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week, and 672,000 doses of a vaccine developed by Moderna by the end of the month.
Local officials will be following vaccine allocation guidelines developed by the state Department of Public Health. According to these, the county is currently in phase 1A of allocation.
People eligible to be vaccinated in phase 1A include those exposed to the virus in direct health care or long-term care workplaces — including non-clinical roles — and residents of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities.
Within the phase, according to state recommendations, priority should be given according to type of facility or role, facility location, and individual attributes, if there are not enough doses for all who choose to receive them.
Highest priority facilities, for example, include acute care hospitals and emergency medical personnel, and priority by individual health care worker attributes would rank those older than 65 highest and take into account underlying medical conditions.
Nevada County’s shipment of 975 doses this week will not be enough to vaccinate all front-line hospital workers, according to Public Health, but will be the first in a series of small weekly shipments.
The discussion regarding worker prioritization for phases 1B and 1C continued in a Wednesday meeting of the state Community Vaccine Advisory Committee, with education and child care, emergency services, and food and agriculture presented as leading candidates for the first tier of phase 1B.
Once the vaccine becomes widely available, according to Nevada County Public Health, it will be administered both by its department and local health care providers.
According to estimates presented at the Community Vaccine Advisory Committee meeting, 2 million Californians could receive a first vaccine dose by the end of the month, and over 4 million by the end of January.
According to Nevada County administrative analyst Taylor Wolfe, as of Wednesday, the county is preparing an update to frequently asked questions concerning expected timelines for vaccine distribution in the county.
Victoria Penate is a Staff Writer for The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com.