The long-awaited, much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine officially arrived in Santa Barbara County on Thursday.
Hospital health care workers at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Santa Maria’s Marian Regional Medical Center and Lompoc Valley Medical Center will be the first to receive the vaccine, with some getting their first dose on Thursday.
While supplies remain limited, Santa Barbara County has developed a local plan to distribute the vaccine over the weeks and months ahead. Hospital staff will be the first to receive the vaccination, followed by long-term care facility residents and staff and then first responders and dialysis providers, according to health officials.
The initial 3,900 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine include 1,950 doses going to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and 1,950 doses going to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria.
“We have spoken of the light at the end of this tunnel and it has finally arrived in Santa Barbara County,” Dr. Henning Ansorg, health officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, said in a news release. “This vaccine is our most important tool for ending the COVID-19 pandemic in our county. While the light at the end of the tunnel has arrived, we are very much still in the tunnel, as we’ve heard State officials share. We need every community member to continue wearing a mask, staying home as much as possible, and for those that have tested positive, please isolate immediately.”
For complete coverage, see Friday’s News-Press.