SANTA MONICA—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light on the emergency use of another COVID-19 vaccine. Designed by Pfizer, the vaccination will be delivered to St. John’s hospital in Santa Monica.

On Wednesday, December 16, the first batch of vaccines is expected to arrive and be given to those working within the front line.

“We’re so excited to be able to finally announce that we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our vaccines,” said Sylvain Trepanier, DNP, RN, regional chief clinical executive. “We have been working very diligently in getting ourselves ready for this historic moment and we’re poised and ready to start vaccinating.”

For preparation, Providence Southern California, which works with St. John’s Hospital began to prepare for the vaccine back in October. Since then, they have established distribution, transportation, and a storage system for all the participating hospitals.

“Because the initial supply is very limited, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is directing the first doses to certain high-risk health care personnel, as well as residents and patients in long-term care facilities,” said Providence Southern California in a press release.

All healthcare workers within the Providence hospital network will take part in a survey that will assign the individual at a high, medium, or low risk based on exposure to COVID-19 and any underlying health conditions they may have.

While the vaccine has been released, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend it not be released to the general public yet.

“We have all the confidence that we will be able to offer vaccination for all of our high risk caregivers and providers before the end of this year, which is a really important step in counteracting this dreadful disease,” said Trepanier.

Providence is expected to receive 26,325 vaccine doses. In total, Providence has 40,000 caregivers in its high, medium, and low risk categories to date.

“As part of our community investment we are planning, once we get the first and second tiers cared for, on reaching out into underserved communities to do vaccine clinics there,” said Teresa Frey, RN, MSN, regional chief quality officer. “We’ve been working now on education there and we started flu shot clinics so we could get the communities familiar with our operations.”

The first round of vaccines created by Pfizer were shipped to 145 distribution centers nationwide on December 13.

“While the general public awaits a broader vaccine roll out Trepanier urged everyone to do what they can to bend the curve — keep their distance, wash their hands, wear their mask, and stay at home.”

Canyon News  reached out to St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica for comment, but did not hear back before print.