SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – On Saturday, San Diego County will move to the next level of vaccination and allow half a million more residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The county will expand the list of people eligible for COVID-19 vaccines to include educators, law enforcement, and food and agriculture workers. Residents 65 and older have already been offered the vaccine as part of the first level in Phase 1B.
Teacher vaccinations will play a crucial role in many school districts’ plans for students to return to campus. The county says 20% of immunizations will be reserved for teachers and staff in transitional kindergarten through twelfth grade. Employees can go to VEBAvaccinates.com to register and receive the latest updates.
For others who are eligible to receive the vaccine, the process will remain the same. They will need to log into the county website and make an appointment.
The county is dividing the responsibility for vaccinating the additional groups among different agencies:
- Immunizations for TK-12 educators will be managed by the San Diego County Office of Education and the California Schools Volunteer Employee Benefits Association (VEBA). All others eligible under this group will go to the county immunization website to schedule an appointment. (DETAILS ON ELIGIBILITY)
- Immunizations for emergency workers will also be handled through the county website. Scripps Health will help law enforcement get vaccinated. (DETAILS ON ELIGIBILITY)
- Vaccines for those in the food and agriculture category will be handled through the county website. CAL FIRE will help vaccinate farmworkers on site. (DETAILS ON ELIGIBILITY)
But the chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, Nathan Fletcher, said eligible residents will need to be patient.
“We will open vaccines to approximately half a million San Diego residents,” Fletcher said. “There will be no half a million appointments available on Saturday, Sunday or Monday or in the next few weeks.”
According to the county’s vaccination panel, as of Friday, about 20.2% of residents had received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 8.7% were 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 high risk of morbidity and mortality if diagnosed with COVID-19:
- Cancer, current with weakened or immunosuppressed status
- Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or higher
- Chronic, oxygen-dependent lung disease
- Down’s Syndrome
- Immunosuppressed status (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplantation
- The pregnancy
- Sickle-cell anaemia
- 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 a hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%
People with developmental disabilities or other serious high-risk disabilities may also qualify, as listed here.