There is light at the end of the tunnel.
These are the words San Francisco Mayor London Breed and other city officials have used repeatedly over the past several days, as the city begins administering its first doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
On Tuesday morning, Dr. Antonio Gomez, Medical Director of Critical Care Services at Zuckerberg General Hospital, became the first person in San Francisco to receive the vaccine. The second person to receive the vaccine was Phung Nguyen, an intensive care nurse at the hospital.
These first two doses were part of the city’s initial 12,675 dose supply of vaccines from the state and federal government. Frontline healthcare workers and residents of long term care facilities will be prioritized for these initial doses.
The vaccine, produced by Pfizer and German company BioNTech, was developed in record time, and shown to be 95 percent effective in clinical trials.
The FDA is expected to grant an emergency authorization to Moderna’s similarly effective vaccine on Friday, setting the stage for more doses to be distributed.
The vaccines couldn’t come soon enough for San Francisco, which is in the midst of a strict lockdown, and experiencing its highest daily case counts since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We can’t let today’s news be cause for letting our guard down,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “This virus is still in our community, and we must remain just as vigilant – taking care to stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings, keep our distance, wash our hands frequently, and avoid gatherings.”