Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which Phase III trials have shown to be 95% effective, has arrived in Santa Clara County, with healthcare workers and nursing home residents first in line to get the shots.
Just today, 5,850 vaccine doses got delivered to the county, the first of 17,550 initial doses allocated by the State of California. Whereas this initial installment was received by the County government, the near-term subsequent installments, set to show before the week is over, will go directly to Santa Clara hospitals.
Yet officials cautioned residents not to lower their guards despite the ray of hope offered by vaccinations. The winter will still remain a dire season in the COVID-19 pandemic, with lower temperatures leading to more indoor activity and thus a higher rate of disease spread, just like we’ve long been accustomed to with the flu.
Now more than ever, people are urged to take seriously the advisements to wear masks, socially distance, engage in regular hand washing, and follow guidelines to stay at home—which means abiding by the 10pm-5am curfew unless attending to essential activities such as buying groceries or seeking medical care, and trying to avoid travel yet quarantining for 10 days after traveling over 150 miles beyond county limits. (The previous quarantine mandate for travelers and close contacts of COVID patients was 14 days, but the County just yesterday lowered it to 10, with the conjoined advisement to monitor for 14.)
New guidance from the federal and state levels regarding further vaccine allocation is expected soon.
Per the County’s dashboard, there were 1,118 new COVID cases today, along with 89 new hospitalizations and 24 deaths.