Guam poised to get first shipment of Pfizer COVID vaccine this week

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. (PNC file photo)

Guam is poised to get its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID vaccine this week after the FDA formally granted the product emergency approval this weekend.

The FDA’s blessing means the vaccine is now loading up and heading out for widespread distribution and Guam Public Health says our first shipment of 3900 shots is expected in the next 3 to 5 days.

The health agency has been prepping the island for the inoculations for some time, setting up three ultra-low temperature freezers, capable of storing the vaccine.

In all, so far, Guam has been approved for 11,700 Pfizer vaccines which would fully inoculate 5,850 since it’s a two-dose vaccine, spaced 21 days apart.

Guam is aligned with federal guidance on who gets the vaccines first, heading to frontline health staff, GPD, GFD, and then seniors living in congregate settings, before the general public.

Janela Carrera, Public Health’s spokesperson, says they’re finalizing their plans now.

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“So this week, we’re going to be doing a localized trial, using regular flu shots…sort of our own trial run of administering doses. We’ve been doing our pre-planning as well, looking at sites where we can do this and administer doses. We’re also working with GMH,” Carrera said.

Public Health can’t actually start administering the vaccine until the CDC and another advisory committee give their recommendation but that’s expected in the coming days as well.

There’s still no finalized plan on who will get the vaccine after the priority front-liners and those most vulnerable.

Carrera says Guam’s vaccine committee will give its opinion on the matter and it may end up being a lottery system or randomized draw of some sort.