By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Most Philadelphia hospitals will begin administering the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday. Jefferson’s Philadelphia hospitals are among the local hospitals that have received doses of the vaccine.

Nearly 3,000 of them will be arriving in this first round.

Many hospitals received their first allotment on Monday and Tuesday, with more arriving on Wednesday.

“We are receiving this week from the Pfizer vaccine 13,650 doses. And next week, 27,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine, if it is approved,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

Hospital workers have been advised to begin administering the vaccines to their staff as soon as possible, with most starting the process on Wednesday. Phase one of the rollout begins with health care workers, as nursing homes will start vaccinating next week.

“First, the likelihood that somebody will acquire the infection, some people are just more exposed by the nature of the work that they do,” Dr. Farley said.

Dr. Farley touts the effectiveness of both the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine and says it’s the first step on the long road to ending this pandemic.

“In general, I consider vaccines to be the greatest discovery in medicine,” Philadelphia’s health commissioner said. “And I’m very hopeful that this and other vaccines will ultimately end this pandemic just as vaccines have ended epidemics — smallpox, and polio and measles.”

Even with vaccines now circulating, health officials say it will still take months before they’re available to the general public.

Philadelphia reported more than 1,200 new cases on Tuesday and say public vigilance remains key to stopping the rapid spread of the virus.

“It’s gonna take months for us to vaccinate enough people in order to get back to normal,” Dr. Farley said. “In the meantime, everyone’s risk of contracting coronavirus is still extremely high.”

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