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Riverside County anticipates first COVID-19 vaccines

The first shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in Riverside County as early as Friday, according to county health officials.

The recently approved vaccine is expected to arrive at several hospitals and at Riverside University Health System-Public Heath facilities, where they will be kept until they’re moved to other medical locations, according to a statement.

Total doses for Riverside County are expected to be between 14,000 and 15,000.

“With so much grim news lately with the pandemic, it is great that we can give the public something so positive that we believe can turn this around,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of public health, in the statement. “This is a turning point in the pandemic and we are looking forward to a time in the not-to-distant future when we can vaccinate tens of thousands of our neighbors against this virus.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine last week. Riverside County officials then developed a plan to get the doses to thousands of front-line health care workers, who will be the first to receive the vaccine, according to the statement.

San Bernardino County healthcare officials have said they expect to start COVID-1i9 vaccinations this week.

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