SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Pfizer vaccine is set to be distributed to frontline health care workers in California as early as this week.

“We are very excited to have a vaccine that has been approved to be safe and effective,” Dr. Richard Pan, a state senator representing the Sacramento area, said.

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This vaccine breakthrough comes nine months after a cruise ship carrying coronavirus patients docked in California. Its sick passengers were forced to board buses to quarantine. Now, there’s finally hope.

“Starting today, starting to administer to our highest priority people,” Dr. Pan said.

The first to be vaccinated are frontline health care workers, but that’s easier said than done.

“Right now we don’t even have enough doses to cover all the health care workers,” Dr. Pan said.

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Pan said there are approximately 2 million health care workers in California. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, which means, the first 4 million doses in California will only go to frontline health care workers — and all of those haven’t even been made yet.

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“It’s going to be many months before we can get vaccines out to the general public,” Dr. Pan said.

\We asked people in Sacramento how they feel about the potential to take the vaccine.

“I feel like it’s kind of rushed. My burning question is what are the symptoms going to be like?” Alexis Thompson said.

“The vaccines that have been approved have already been tested in tens of thousands of people. So by the time it’s your chance to get the vaccine, you are not first in line. Some people develop fever headaches or muscle aches. The side effects probably stem from the fact that it works,” Dr. Pan said.

Senator Pan says at least 70% of California needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

“There is a hope that we can get enough vaccine out to people by spring,” he said.

Senator Pan says the vaccine will be available to anyone over the age of 16. Scientists are still working on a childhood vaccine. CBS13 asked Dr. Pan if that vaccine might be available before the beginning of the next school year. He says that’s unlikely.

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