Health department releases Covid-19 vaccine plan

Rollout timeline, dashboard will inform residents of availability

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Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital received a shipment of 230 doses of the Covid-19 vaccination on Dec. 16. Photo: screenshot

The San Benito County Public Health Services department released its latest Covid-19 Vaccination Plan, which includes a rollout timeline and a dashboard that will inform residents when they’ll be eligible for the vaccine. 

San Benito County is currently in the opening stages of the vaccination timeline, starting with Phase 1A, which is set up into three tiers according to the California Department of Public Health phase guidelines. 

Public health officials noted that vaccine supplies are limited and they’re not sure when more will be available. The phase and tier systems are bound to change over time depending what recommendations are made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CDPH.

Tier 1 and Tier 2 of Phase 1A are currently in the vaccination process. Those on the list are acute and healthcare staff, assisted living facility staff and residents, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics and dialysis center staff. Others include home health and in-home supportive services, public health, primary care staff and Federally Qualified Health Care and urgent care clinics.

Those that fall under Tier 3, which includes specialty clinics staff, laboratory workers, dental and other oral health clinics, pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers and those in the mortuary service industry, will be the next group to get vaccinated. 

Phase 1B is split up into two tiers, and there’s still no set date for this group. The first tier includes individuals 75 year old and above and those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: education, childcare, emergency services and food and agriculture.

Tier 2 is for people between the age of 65-74 and those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: transportation and logistics, industrial, commercial, residential and sheltering facilities and services, and critical manufacturing. The tier also includes people in congregate settings with outbreak risks such as those who are incarcerated and homeless. 

There’s also no set date for Phase 1C but this is for people who are 50-64 years old. It’s also for those who are 16-64 years old, however, they must have an underlying health condition or disability that increases their risk of contracting Covid-19. 

The vaccine will also be available to those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: water and wastewater, defense, energy, chemical and hazardous materials, communications and IT, financial services, government operations and community-based essential functions.

According to Public Health Services, they believe the rest of the general public, who are not in Phase 1, could receive the vaccine in the spring but the date could change. They added it’ll only be available “depending on vaccine production and how quickly other vaccines become available.” 

The vaccinations are available through a partnership between Public Health Services, Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital and the San Benito Health Foundation. Residents can view the Covid-19 Vaccine Dashboard for information on vaccine rollout. 

The Vaccine Dashboard is located at sbccovid19.us. For more information regarding Covid-19 vaccines go to www.covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/.