The city of Berkeley and Alameda County are responding with full support of the vaccination rollout under California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Vaccinate All 58” campaign.
Berkeley will receive 975 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week, according to city spokesperson Matthai Chakko. The city arranged for it to be delivered to the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, part of the Sutter Health network, Chakko added.
“Hope is on the horizon as we now have a path forward to end this pandemic through mass inoculation,” said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín in an email. “The State’s ‘Vaccinate All 58’ will help ensure the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine across all corners of California.”
Chakko said in an email that the city is supportive of the campaign, as well as other efforts to increase awareness about the vaccine.
According to an Alameda County press release, 12,675 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be delivered to the county.
“We’re happy to see the State leading on a vaccination communications campaign and hope that it will increase broad uptake of the vaccine as it becomes available,” said Neetu Balram, Alameda County Public Health Department spokesperson, in an email.
The vaccination campaign — which follows the California Department of Public Health guidelines — plans to distribute the vaccine initially to essential healthcare workers, first responders and elderly or medically vulnerable people in long-term care settings.
In accordance with these rules, the first doses of the vaccine in Berkeley will go to healthcare workers at Alta Bates. Following doses will go to staff and residents of nursing facilities, according to Arreguín. Subsequent phases will prioritize high-risk populations, essential workers and eventually the general public.
According to an email from Sutter Health spokesperson Emma Dugas, the vaccine is estimated to be made available to the general public in the spring. In the meantime, Bay Area health officials in a joint statement encouraged the public to wear face coverings, avoid gatherings, postpone travel and stay home.
In a Zoom conference Monday, Ryan Stice, the vice president of pharmacy at Sutter Health, said teams have been built to deploy the Pfizer vaccine and are ready to do so as soon as the vaccines come in. In Northern California, Stice added, Sutter Health has 300 people working in preparation for the arrival of the vaccine.
“In this darkest hour, the vaccine gives us a beacon to show the direction we’re headed,” said Berkeley health officer Lisa Hernandez in the joint statement. “The actions and daily habits we each take increase the light on that path and improve safety for all.”