SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - Coronavirus cases continue to spike each day in Shasta County.
“Our numbers are quite high,” said Robin Schurig, the Public Health Branch Director for the Shasta Health & Human Services Agency.
“I just want to point out that we are still in the purple tier, but we are well into the purple tier.”
But two vaccines have hopes high that we could soon end this pandemic. Pfizer and Moderna both created vaccines they claim are about 95% effective.
If approved, both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines could be available sometime next month. Pfizer is looking to apply for FDA approval in the next few days.
“Once it goes through and they actually meet the benchmarks for showing that it's effective and safe, and submit to the FDA, the vaccine is already manufactured and ready for distribution,” said Dr. Karen Ramstrom, Shasta County’s Public Health Officer.
Shasta County Public Health says it is optimistic about the efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Shasta County health leaders say Mercy Medical is one of seven hospitals the state is looking to place a vaccine when it’s first available. But it's still unknown how much of the vaccine will be receiving.
“The hospitals are going to be the focus of this initial push,” said Dr. Ramstrom.
“Their focus is on high-risk healthcare workers. We anticipate that we'll be people who are caring for people with covid-19 or are likely to come into contact with those individuals.”
Because the first sets of vaccines will be limited, Public Health is looking to distribute the vaccine in a phased approach.
Phase one would be health care workers and first responders. Phase two includes critical populations and other essential workers. When there is enough of the vaccine, phase three would be the general population.
“I'm hopeful for our community that we can get this vaccine spread out as quickly as possible,” said Jacob Toomey of Sacramento. “If they had one today ready to go, I would take it that's for sure.”
But some are a little more cautious and willing to wait.
“I would probably wait for a couple of weeks and see how it is faring with all the people who are taking it,” said Greg Reinmann of Redding.