COVID vaccine logistics – California


Photo courtesy of the BBC

Ella Kramer

While bringing an end to the catastrophe that was 2020 with a simple vaccine gives a sense of cautious optimism amongst Americans, the logistics behind its distribution is incredibly complex. Each state’s plan for administering the vaccine is drastically different, and thousands of citizens have been vaccinated all across the country. California’s first shipment of vaccines made by Pfizer totaled 327,000 doses and the second batch contains 672,000 doses of Moderna’s vaccine which have already been administered. 

The first priority group, Phase 1A, to receive the vaccine will be front line health care workers and nursing home residents. Following them, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices stated that those over the age of 75 and essential workers will be on the second tier, Phase 1B, and since California agreed to stick to their guidance, it can be assumed that this second group will include these individuals as well as educational and agricultural workers. The third group, Phase 1B Tier Two, will most likely consist of anyone 65 or older with an underlying health condition, those who work in transportation and critical manufacturing, and those who are incarcerated or homeless. The final group, Phase 1C, to receive the vaccine will be anyone between the ages of 16-64 with underlying health conditions, water and waste management, defense, energy, chemical, communications, and IT workers, and community service groups. The remainder of Americans are on track to get vaccinated after these high risk and essential groups have. While not all of these groups are officially set in stone, as they have not all been approved by the advisory committee, the phases will closely follow these groupings. 

While the vaccine does, and should, bring about hope, it just simply will not be effective if people do not listen to safety guidelines. So, even though a solution could be in sight, keep yourself and those around you safe by following California’s order to stay home unless permitted by work and school, or for essential errands and wear a mask. It is likely that the distribution of the vaccine will take months, if not over a year, so in the meantime, everyone must do their part to stop the spread so we can get our world back on track.