WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) — John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek will be one of the first in the Bay Area to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, expecting about 5,000 doses.

FedEx airplanes arrived at LAX on Sunday night with California’s first shipment of the vaccine.

The state is expecting 327,600 doses in its initial shipments, with two doses per person.

The Pfizer vaccine requires special refrigerators for storage due to the freezing cold conditions needed to safely keep the vaccine. John Muir hospital is ready to store the vaccine at negative 70 degrees Celsius.

The first people in line to get the vaccine are health care workers who are interacting with COVID-19 patients every day in hospitals.

The general public may have to wait until next spring to get the vaccine as doses are limited.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use in people 16 and older in the United States just in the last few days.

First, an advisory panel made up of scientists recommended that the Food and Drug Administration approve the vaccine on Thursday, after a comprehensive review of Pfizer’s data.

The FDA finally approved the vaccine soon after, with shipments already set for the weekend to states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading America’s guidance on managing the pandemic, also signed off on the vaccine.

“As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the U.S., CDC’s recommendation comes at a critical time. Initial COVID-19 vaccination is set to start as early as Monday, and this is the next step in our efforts to protect Americans, reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and help restore some normalcy to our lives and our country,” said CDC director Robert Redfield.

Latest Stories: