PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- An estimated 15,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in Philadelphia on Tuesday, according to city officials.
One local hospital official called this a pivotal moment in the fight against COVID-19.
"It's a cautious optimism," said Temple University Health System chief medical officer Dr. Tony Reed.
Temple University Health System is preparing to receive and start giving vaccines on Wednesday. Its staff has been divided into four tiers, and the first 3,000 doses will go to those in tier one.
"All who were in direct COVID care units or in areas that see a high volume of COVID patients, such as the emergency department or the crisis response unit," said Reed.
The vaccine could come with some flu-like side effects. Temple Health is advising those who get vaccinated to try to schedule the shot towards the end of their workweek in case they experience side effects.
As for the general population, Philadelphia officials say it'll be weeks or months before the vaccine will be available to everyone.
"Over time, it'll be more sites, and more people will be invited," said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Tom Farley. "We'll have much broader announcements as to the many different places they can get it."
Healthcare workers and staff, and residents of long term care facilities will be vaccinated in the first phase, followed by essential workers and high-risk groups.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced 1,041 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Philadelphia on Friday. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 78,407 in the city.
The first of many freezer-packed COVID-19 vaccine vials made their way to distribution sites across the United States on Sunday, as the nation's pandemic deaths approached the horrifying new milestone of 300,000. Frontline workers, including hospital employees, will be among the first to be vaccinated in Pennsylvania.
December 12 begins another version of a shutdown across the commonwealth. The coronavirus-related restrictions took effect on 12:01 a.m. and will last through 8 a.m. on Monday, January 4, 2021.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is continuing to recover at home after testing positive for the coronavirus this week. While announcing new COVID-19 restrictions in the commonwealth on Thursday, Wolf said he first tested positive Tuesday.
In 2016, Wolf was diagnosed with a treatable form of prostate cancer. A year later he received a clean bill of health. Experts say his cancer should play a minor or even no role in his recovery. Dr. Alexander Kutikov, the Chief of Urologic Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, says data shows a positive outcome for the governor is high.
In her eight years of nursing, Julia Kristen has never seen anything like this.
"I just can't get over how bad it is," said Kristen, who is a registered nurse working in the emergency room of Einstein Hospital. "Just one after another patient coming in so sick."
Americans should expect more COVID-related restrictions and advisories for the Christmas holiday, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert.