Vaccinations against COVID-19 began Monday in California amid a huge surge in infections and hospitalizations.

Intensive care unit nurse Helen Cordova received a shot of the Pfizer vaccine at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who watched and applauded, tweeted that Cordova was one of the first Californians to be vaccinated.

The first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine left Michigan early Sunday for 145 distribution centers nationwide.

California’s initial batch was scheduled to total 325,000 doses.

The vaccine was sent to hospitals and other sites across the country that can store it at extremely low temperatures — about 94 degrees below zero. Pfizer is using containers with dry ice and GPS-enabled sensors to ensure each shipment stays colder.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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