COVID-19 Vaccine Key Facts

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Vaccine Distribution – Key Facts

The County’s role and responsibility in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is logistics: planning and preparing for the distribution of vaccines. Hospitals, health care systems, and community clinics will administer vaccines in compliance with federal, state and county requirements. Federal authorities also have created a partnership with CVS/Walgreens to disseminate the vaccines through mobile clinics inside nursing homes and care facilities all over the country. The County has submitted plans (PDF) to the Department of Public Health with local vaccine distribution plans.

Now that there are authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, here are 8 things you need to know about the new COVID-19 Vaccination Program and COVID-19 vaccines.

  1. The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.
    The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
  2. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. Two doses are needed.
    Depending on the specific vaccine you get, a second shot 3-4 weeks after your first shot is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer against this serious disease. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.
  3. Right now, CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccine be offered to healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.
    Because the current supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is limited, CDC recommends that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine be offered to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents.

  4. There is currently a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, but supply will increase in the weeks and months to come.
    The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as large enough quantities are available. Once vaccine is widely available, the plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers offering COVID-19 vaccines in doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.
  5. After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection.
    The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination may feel like flu and might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what side effects to expect and get helpful tips on how to reduce pain and discomfort after your vaccination.
  6. Cost is not an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
    Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot. Vaccination providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
  7. The first COVID-19 vaccine is being used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many other vaccines are still being developed and tested.
    Learn more about FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization authorityexternal icon and watch a video on what an EUA is.
    If more COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved by FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will quickly hold public meetings to review all available data about each vaccine and make recommendations for their use in the United States. Learn more about how CDC is making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.
  8. COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic.
    It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

Key Facts for Sonoma County

Sonoma County received the first shipment of vaccine on Dec. 17. Since then, the County has received weekly shipments of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, which it is using to vaccinate healthcare workers including staff of behavioral health hospitals, first responders and others that qualify under Phase 1a prioritization.

Six acute care hospitals in Sonoma County – Kaiser Permanente, Memorial Hospital, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, Petaluma Valley Hospital, Healdsburg Hospital and Sonoma Valley Hospital – are receiving vaccine doses directly from the state to vaccinate their frontline healthcare workers.

In addition, two chain pharmacies – CVS and Walgreens – are receiving vaccine doses directly from the Centers for Disease Control in a federal partnership to send pharmacists to vaccinate staff and residents of long-term care facilities.


How will the Vaccine be Distributed?

The image above describes the following chain of vaccine distribution, from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to the medical and pharmaceutical staff who will administer the vaccine.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) delivers the vaccine to:

  1. State of California, who deliver the vaccine to:
    1. Multi-county entities (MCE), such as Kaiser, St. Joseph’s, and Sutter, who in turn deliver the vaccine to:
      1. Regional hospitals and facilities for administration
    2. Local health department, who deliver the vaccine to:
      1. Local healthcare facilities and providers for administration
  2. Chain pharmacies, who administer the vaccine to:
    1. Long term care facility residents

See Sonoma County COVID-19 Vaccine Information for the latest update.