SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Nearly a thousand COVID-19 vaccines could be here in Santa Barbara County as soon as next week. That’s if Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is approved tomorrow from the food and drug administration.
Dr. David Fisk is an infectious disease specialist at Cottage Hospital and Sansum Clinic. He said, "In the first week of shipments, which will probably be next week that Cottage will receive 975 at least."
He added there's already a plan for the first batch of vaccines.
"The highest priority tiers have already been established by the Centers for Disease Control include healthcare workers on the frontline and individuals living in congregate living longterm care settings such as nursing homes," said Dr. Fisk.
On Tuesday the world saw the first COVID-19 vaccine distributed in the United Kingdom. There were some cases of allergic reactions. Dr. Fisk assured Cottage Hospital and Sansum Clinic already have a plan to deal with any issues.
"Any site that's giving the Pfizer vaccine is going to be expected to watch for 15 minutes the person who's received the vaccine before letting them go out back into the community in case there is an onset of allergic reactions," he said.
Dr. Fisk expects more doses of the vaccine to arrive over the next couple of months. And said most people in Santa Barbara County will be vaccinated in late winter or early spring. During that waiting period. He said people need to do their part to prevent a surge in hospitalizations.
"COVID spread in the United States, COVID is on fire," said Dr. Fisk. "We need to mask and stay six feet apart from people and not gather outside with individuals outside our household. That's what we need to do to slow the spread of COVID right now."
This week the United States Food and Drug Administration is reviewing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the same vaccine the U.K. is already distributing.
This week, California has seen its greatest increase in new confirmed COVID-19 cases. The state is averaging 23,503 new cases a day over the last seven days.
As of Tuesday, Santa Barbara Public Health officials stated 700 people in Santa Barbara County are currently infectious. Santa Maria has the most active cases at 184 and Santa Barbara is second with 145. By population per 10,000 people, the top three hot spots in the county are: Lompoc 24.3, Orcutt 17.7 and Santa Maria 17.1. The county average is 15.7. The city of Santa Barbara is at 15.8.