SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Saturday, San Diego County will move into the next vaccination tier and allow about half a million more residents to get the coronavirus vaccine.
The county will expand the list of those eligible for COVID-19 vaccines to include educators, law enforcement, and food and agriculture workers. Residents who are 65 and older have already been offered the vaccine as part of the first tier in Phase 1B.
Vaccinating teachers will play a crucial part in many school districts’ plans to get students back on campus. The county says 20% of the vaccines will be set aside for transitional kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers and staff. Employees can go to VEBAvaccinates.com to sign up for the latest updates.
For others who are eligible to get the vaccine, the process will still be the same. They will need to log onto the county website and make an appointment.
The county is splitting the responsibility of vaccinating the additional groups among different agencies:
- Vaccinations for TK-12 educators will be handled by the San Diego County Office of Education and the California Schools Voluntary Employees Benefits Association (VEBA). Everyone else eligible under this group will go to the county's vaccination website to schedule an appointment. (DETAILS ON ELIGIBILITY)
- Vaccinations for emergency workers will be handled through the county's website as well. Scripps Health will be providing help to get law enforcement vaccinated. (DETAILS ON ELIGIBILITY)
- Vaccinations for those in the food and agriculture category will be handled through the county's website. CAL FIRE will be helping to vaccinate farmworkers on-site. (DETAILS ON ELIGIBILITY)
But County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher said eligible residents will need to be patient.
"We will be opening up vaccines to about a half a million San Diegans," Fletcher said. "There will not be half a million appointments available Saturday or Sunday or Monday or for many weeks coming forward."
According to the county's vaccination dashboard, as of Friday, about 20.2% of residents have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 8.7% have been fully vaccinated.
The addition of more San Diegans comes ahead of the state's expansion of vaccine eligibility on March 15, which will add certain people who are at a high risk of morbidity and mortality if they are diagnosed with COVID-19:
- Cancer, current with debilitated or immunocompromised state
- Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
- Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen-dependent
- Down syndrome
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Sickle cell disease
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (excludes hypertension) Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%
People with developmental or other severe high-risk disabilities may also be qualified, as listed here.