Hospitals across the Bay Area began vaccinating doctors, nurses and other front-line health care workers Friday as a second vaccine from Moderna is about to receive emergency approval from the FDA.
The FDA's vaccine advisory board overwhelmingly recommended approval for Moderna's vaccine, and it could give final approval within the next day or so.
That comes as hospitals across the Bay Area are already distributing the Pfizer vaccine, or getting ready to. At Stanford Health, staff will begin to give shots from the newly-arrived Ppfizer vaccine Thursday.
Hospital personnel put the boxed vials in a special, deep freeze refrigerator to keep them at negative 94-degrees Fahrenheit.
If the Moderna vaccine is approved for emergency use, it may turn out to be easier to distribute.
That's because it can be stored in more standard freezers, unlike the Pfizer version that requires it to be stored in special equipment that keeps it cold.
"It will make it easier for us to expand vaccinations to different parts of our system,” said Tim Morrison of Stanford Healthcare School of Medicine.
The first shipments of vaccines come as the Bay Area, and the rest of the state, is getting hit hard with a winter wave of infections.
Public health officials say the vaccines are a ray of hope, but thorough hand washing, social distancing, and wearing masks will continue for several months.
At least until a large percentage of the whole population is vaccinated.