Specific information regarding the distribution of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is at a minimum, but a local cybersecurity expert says that may be a good thing.

San Jose State University professor and cybersecurity expert Ahmed Banafa believes the uncertainty comes down to safety.

“They have to keep this one secret,” he said. “They don’t want to give anybody an advance knowledge about where the shipments going to go.”

He said too much information on where shipments are headed could potentially lead to physical theft of the vaccine. Cyberthieves could also disrupt the supply chain.

But Banafa said people shouldn’t worry.

“I believe that FBI and CISSA, which is the cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency, they’re aware of all the risks around the shipment, so they have a plan,” he said.

Nearly 2.9 million doses are expected to go out this week, with more than 327,000 doses headed to California.

In a video Sunday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the approval of the Pfizer vaccine by a panel of medical professionals on the West Coast.

“A 17-member panel…unanimously recommending the quick distribution of the Pfizer vaccine,” he said. “They reviewed the safety. They reviewed the efficacy.”

In the Bay Area, UCSF will be one of the first hospitals to get the first doses. Hospital officials say the situation is fluid. Doses could arrive Monday or Tuesday, with vaccinations potentially happening Wednesday.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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