UCSF, Zuckerberg among CA hospitals first in line for COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine


Approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for at least one of the coronavirus vaccines could come within a few weeks, and University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Zuckerberg San Francisco General are among seven California hospitals that are first in line to get the Pfizer vaccine.

UCSF Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong is very encouraged by recent vaccine developments.

“To get a 95 percent efficacy in both MRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, I think, exceeded everyone’s wildest dreams,” he said. “It was a huge advance of science and we’re all excited to be one of the first to get it.”

Chin-Hong added that the hospitals are set up to handle it.

“We do have a large infrastructure,” he said. “Research labs with -70 [degrees] and colder freezers,” which is crucial for storing the Pfizer vaccine.

These hospitals are in the process of fine tuning plans, such as who who will be the first to get them, but Dr. Chin-Hong said those who interact most with COVID-19 patients are a high priority. For those not on the medical frontlines, the advice is to manage expectations.

“Due to limitations of manufacturing, we don’t be able to adequately immunize everyone on the community until probably late spring or early summer.”