Skip to Content
County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

Pfizer COVID vaccine arrives in Sonoma County

Santa Rosa,CA | December 17, 2020

The County of Sonoma received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this morning. Two boxes of the vaccine, containing a total of 1,950 doses, arrived at the County’s Public Health Lab on Chanate Road shortly before 9 a.m. today. Three other boxes were taken directly to local hospitals. In all, the County received 4,875 doses.

The delivery is the start of a historic campaign to eradicate the virus, reopen the economy and return to some level of normalcy. The County is taking the logistical lead in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, planning and preparing for the distribution of one or more vaccines.

“With this vaccine shipment, we begin a new phase in the effort to end the pandemic and return to normal life,” said Susan Gorin, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “While it is a significant first step, the vaccination campaign will be lengthy, and we all must maintain public health measures including wearing masks, practicing social distancing and following the latest stay-home order.”

Sonoma County’s vaccine shipment arrived in five boxes with 975 doses in each box. They will be disseminated to the six local hospitals on a proportional basis, giving each facility an equal share of doses relative to their size. The allocations is as follows:

  • One box for St. Joseph Health for Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa and Petaluma Valley Hospital
  • One box for Kaiser Permanente
  • One box for Sutter Health, Healdsburg Hospital and Sonoma Valley Hospital
  • Two boxes for Sonoma County Health for Crisis Stabilization Unit, First Responders and others in Behavioral Health that qualify under Level 1A, Tier 1 prioritization. 

The second shipment of Pfizer doses is expected to arrive the week of Dec. 21. Sonoma County will receive three boxes of the second shipment with a total of 2,925 doses. Statewide healthcare systems, including Sutter Health, Providence St. Joseph and Kaiser Permanente, will receive their own shipments for distribution directly to their local hospitals. They are the only facilities in Sonoma County besides the Public Health Lab with the capability to store vaccines at -70°C.

“The arrival of the vaccine is a hopeful sign and it gives us another critical tool as we fight this pandemic,” said Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s Health Officer. “Our health-care partners can now begin vaccinating frontline workers and those most vulnerable for getting COVID.”

The vaccine at first will go to those in the Priority 1A Tier 1 group, who include:

  • Health Care Personnel including those who work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, home health care, pharmacies, emergency medical services and public health workers in essential and critical industries.
  • Long-term Care Facility Residents including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living units and other residential care facilities.

Hospitals, health care systems, and community clinics will administer vaccines in compliance with federal, state and county requirements. Federal authorities also have created a partnership with CVS/Walgreens to disseminate the vaccines through mobile clinics to residents of nursing homes and other care facilities.

An FDA advisory panel is expected to vote later today on approving emergency use authorization for another vaccine candidate, developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health. Clinical trials have shown the Moderna vaccine to be as protective as Pfizer’s vaccine. If approved, Sonoma County is expected to receive 5,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine on the week of Dec. 21

The County will be following prioritization guidelines established by federal authorities including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health. Prioritization decisions are not made at the local level.

The County has created a website where the public can find out more detailed information about the vaccination rollout, safety and how the vaccine is being disseminated in Sonoma County.

Dr Rachel Rees and Lindsey Totah of the Dept of Health Services receive first vaccine shipmentDr Rachel Rees and Lindsey Totah of the Dept of Health Services bring first vaccine shipment inside