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Who may be up next for COVID-19 vaccines in California?

Individuals age 75+ and those who work in education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture are in tier 1B.

SACRAMENTO, California — The Community Vaccine Advisory Committee (CVAC) met Wednesday about the next phases of California’s vaccination plan.

During the three-hour-long meeting, the committee reviewed public comments, recommendations for Phase 1B/1C, and community engagement. 

Committee member Tomás J. Aragón, who is the director and state health officer at California Department of Public Health (CDPH), said the vaccine safety committee will stick with current vaccine scheduling recommendations instead of extending doses. Aragón said there is not enough evidence for half dosing, delaying the second dose, or mixing vaccines.

The state is currently in Phase 1A, which focuses on health care workers and long-term care residents. The next two groups eligible for vaccinations will be 1B and 1C.

1B Tier One:

  • Individuals 75 and older

  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture

1B Tier Two:

  • Individuals 65 -74 years of age

  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: transportation and logistics; industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services; critical manufacturing

  • Congregate settings with outbreak risk: incarcerated and homeless

1C:

  • Individuals 50 -64 years of age

  • People 16-64 years of age and have an underlying health condition or disability which increases their risk of severe COVID-19

  • 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 / community-based essential functions

The committee said they’re exploring the best ways to inform people when they’re eligible to receive a vaccine, which will include a registry, social media, and outreach. Dr. Eric Sergienko, health officer for Mariposa County and California Conference of Local Health Officers (CCLHO) Representative, said one of the logistical hurdles of the vaccine plan is observing people for 15 to 20 minutes after inoculation. Because of the nature of the virus, a COVID-19 clinic can’t be operated the same as a flu clinic.  

They’re also researching the best ways to reach African Americans, Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans. 

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California surgeon general, said the committee wants to make sure they’re communicating effectively with every California. She said the committee acknowledges that there are “complex and nuanced personal and community experiences, and an understanding that lived experiences shape willingness to accept a vaccine.

The next committee meeting is on Jan. 20, 2021, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on YouTube.

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