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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Neetu Balram December 14, 2020 Public Information Manager Alameda County Public Health Department [email protected]

Alameda County Prepares for Vaccine Distribution to Frontline Hospital Workers and 911 First Responders

ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA – Alameda County expects its first shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as soon as December 15 and is planning for safe, equitable and broad distribution. Working within the framework authorized by state health officials, the County will allocate the first vaccine doses to hospital workers and 911 first responders at highest risk of exposure. Acute care hospitals will receive the vaccine directly from Pfizer for their health care workers.

“While we are still in the early phases, this is a hopeful moment for Alameda County resi dents, said Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Richard Valle “A safe and effective vaccine will save lives and help residents and businesses return to some level of normalcy.”

Alameda County chose to prioritize the first responders and hospital staff at highest risk of contracting COVID-19. Alameda County expects to receive 12,675 doses. City of Berkeley, which is an independent Local Health Jurisdiction, is allocated 975 doses. This is the first round of vaccine allocation and we anticipate delivery of additional doses in the coming weeks.

“Acute care hospital health care workers and 911 first responders at highest risk for exposure to COVID-19 are our first line of defense in protecting our system of care from becoming overwhelmed and understaffed during this surge,” said Dr. Kathleen Clanon, Medical Director for Alameda County Health Care Services Agency and Deputy Health Officer.

The initial federal framework for COVID-19 vaccine distribution uses a phased approach. Phase 1 includes hospital workers, first responders, and residents and staff at long term care facilities. Phase 2 includes essential and critical infrastructure workers, older adults, people with underlying health conditions that cause higher risk of severe illness, and people in jail or prison or people living in other congregate settings. Phase 3 includes children, young adults, and people working in lower risk settings. Phase 4 will be administered to individuals who were not included the first three phases.

“Vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel, but we must continue to keep each other safe during the roll-out,” said Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County Health Officer. “We are amid the worst surge of this

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pandemic. If you leave home for essential activities, wear a mask, keep at least six feet of distance from anyone you do not live with, and please do not gather.”

The County’s COVID-19 vaccine planning and logistics infrastructure includes three areas of focus:

  • Community education and engagement: Ensuring equitable distribution with the support of a Community Advisory Group
  • Health care systems coordination: Partnering with clinical partners and pharmacies to ensure broad access across the county
  • Immunization logistics: Working with the state and the future coordination of community-based points of distribution

    COVID-19 vaccines have the potential to reduce severe illness, death, and ultimately shorten the length of this pandemic. While vaccination will not be mandatory, to achieve the full benefit wi ll require broad uptake. Building trust by providing accurate and timely information in partnership with community leaders and messengers will be a vital step toward achieving this goal, and Alameda County plans to work with community, city and clinical partners to ensure coverage across our diverse communities.

    “Equity considerations are central to Alameda County’s plans for wider distribution of the vaccine, and engagement with our community partners is essential to reaching our high-risk and disproportionally impacted communities,” said Kimi Watkins-Tartt, Director of the Alameda County Public Health Department.

    While most health care systems will vaccinate their own health care workers, Alameda County will support and host a vaccination point of distribution (POD) later this week for an initial group of highest risk 911 first responders and hospital staff. Visit https://covid-19.acgov.org/vaccines for more information.

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