The Vandenberg Air Force Base estimates that it will receive up to 10,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, it announced last Friday in a virtual town hall.
The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech had an efficacy rate above 90% at seven days after the second dose during its clinical trial.
No major side effects have been reported, though the study is ongoing. Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander, said the vaccines would be administered voluntarily and encouraged community members to do their own research.
The current plan is to prioritize healthcare professionals, mission-essential military members and first responders. But there are plenty of unknowns left to answer.
“When you think about getting 10,000 doses, that’s going to go a long way here at Team Vandenberg,” Col. Mastalir said in the town hall. “What we don’t know is will we be a distribution hub for, for example the LA air force base or other areas within the Central Coast.”
The Vandenberg Air Force Base will be one of the first nationwide to receive vaccines as part of Operation Warp Speed, a push for expedited development and distribution of 300 million doses led by the Trump administration.
“My hope is that we’ll vaccinate not just the service members, but all members of the local community here,” Col. Mastalir said.
He thinks vaccinating at least half of the community will help achieve herd immunity.
In observance of Veterans Day, the county Public Health Department did not issue a status update on Wednesday.
Cottage Health issued an update on Wednesday and announced that it is caring for a total of 193 patients across all campuses. Of those, 235 are considered acute care patients and 153 acute care beds remain available.
Eight acute care patients are on ventilators and 78 ventilators are available. Two acute care patients are in isolation with COVID-19 symptoms and two others are confirmed COVID-19 positive. No COVID-19 patients are in critical care.
The county Public Health Department will be providing free COVID-19 testing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Saturday at the Isla Vista Theater, 960 Embarcadero Del Norte, Isla Vista.