Widespread vaccine distribution expected to take many months

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This week brought news that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be on the horizon as Moderna announced its vaccine is 94.5% effective, and Pfizer said Wednesday its vaccine is even more effective than the company originally thought.

Pfizer says it is ready to manufacture 50 million doses this year and 1.3 billion in 2021, and Moderna says it could produce 20 million doses for the U.S. by the end of the year.

Both vaccines require patients to receive two doses.

California has been working on its own distribution plan, and Gov. Newsom says even with those production timelines, most people should be prepared to wait quite a while longer for the vaccine.

"All of the vaccines that Pfizer just announced, just do the math and anticipate that we get, let’s say, 12% of them. Each dose - you have to have a dose twice - cut the number in half, would be 12% in half. We’d only be able to cover all healthcare workers in the state of California,” he said.

That means that more widespread distribution in California may not start until next summer.

But Newsom encouraged people to have faith in the distribution process.

“Remember, we distribute roughly 19 million flu shots a year, been doing this for decades. We know how to distribute vaccines of all types with well-established networks, well-established protocols. We want to build on that.”

Both Pfizer and Moderna have not yet published the results of their trials in peer-reviewed journals and are preparing to submit their data to the FDA for an emergency use authorization.