Moderna – Virus vaccine to succeed in Marin subsequent week as circumstances mount
As a surge in new coronavirus circumstances continues to speed up, the primary vaccine doses in Marin County are anticipated to be administered subsequent week.
“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in cases,” Dr. Matt Willis, the Marin County public well being officer, instructed supervisors Tuesday.
By Tuesday afternoon, 90 extra Marin residents had examined constructive for the virus since Monday afternoon. That in contrast with 38 new circumstances the day earlier than.
Willis mentioned Tuesday that 25 of the county’s 29 staffed intensive care unit beds have been occupied. He mentioned the leap in circumstances could be attributable to Thanksgiving-related transmission.
A stay-at-home order introduced on Friday by Marin and 4 different Bay Space counties took impact on Tuesday and can stay in place till Jan. 4. The order directs residents to stay at house for probably the most half and keep away from contact with folks exterior of their households. Indoor operations by companies are severely restricted if not prohibited.
“We need a circuit breaker,” Willis mentioned.
Supervisors accepted the hiring of Dr. Tyler Evans on Tuesday to supervise vaccination planning and distribution companies within the county. Evans is being paid $163,200 for his companies by way of July 31.
Earlier within the pandemic, Evans was the chief medical officer overseeing coronavirus response for the New York Metropolis Division of Emergency Administration. With coaching in tropical drugs and infectious illness, Evans has participated in plenty of worldwide missions, together with treating Ebola sufferers in Sierra Leone.
“He’s a great addition to our team,” Willis mentioned.
Willis mentioned Marin’s preliminary vaccine allocation gained’t be massive.
“We’re taking a look at about 2,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine,” he mentioned. “They come 975 doses to a box and we’re getting two boxes. The plan is to start with vaccinations of staff in our skilled nursing facilities.”
About 85% of the coronavirus deaths in Marin have been nursing house residents. Willis mentioned the idea is that a lot of the staff will select to be vaccinated, however vaccinations is not going to be necessary.
“We will distribute the remaining vaccine from that first allocation to our hospitals,” he mentioned.
Willis mentioned the county expects to get an identical provide of the vaccine the next week.
“We’re on a daily schedule of distribution of the Pfizer product by way of the state,” he mentioned, “and will continue to roll it out to our health care workers initially and then to first responders.”
Willis mentioned the choice was made to vaccinate well being care staff in nursing houses earlier than aged residents as a result of that’s the “most life-saving strategy.”
“It is highly protective of the residents to vaccinate the staff,” he mentioned, “because invariably every outbreak we’ve encountered was from a staff member who was infected in the community and brought it into the facility. Having a workforce in our facilities that is protected will do a lot to prevent the outbreaks we’ve been seeing.”
Willis mentioned he expects it will likely be January earlier than Marin begins getting bigger vaccine allocations. By then, he mentioned, a vaccine developed by Moderna, which is less complicated to work with, could be obtainable.
Availability of the Pfizer vaccine could be constrained as a result of the U.S. authorities contracted to buy solely 100 million doses. Each the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines require two pictures for optimum effectiveness.
Willis mentioned that when bigger quantities of the vaccine arrive the following group prone to be vaccinated are these with persistent ailments and circumstances that put them at larger threat of extreme problems ought to they contract the virus.
Evans, who’s working from New York for the following two weeks, mentioned one in every of his largest challenges shall be “making sure that we’re really mindful of health equity.”
“That means making sure that everybody who needs to have access to this vaccine gets it,” Evans mentioned.
Evans mentioned he would base his suggestions for distribution primarily on course offered by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention and the state’s Division of Public Well being.
“But there are contextual differences on the ground,” he mentioned.