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Imperial County Explains Vaccination Schedule Procedure

-Editorial

As the vaccination rollout continues in Imperial County, the local health department is prioritizing the schedule of how essential workers will get the vaccine.

The mission is hard as the Imperial County Health Department needs to abide by the different phases and vaccine availability.

Imperial County Health Department Director Jeanette Angulo said that COVID-19 vaccination will begin for individuals in Phase 1a, Tier 2.  Tier 2 includes essential, high-risk employees in intermediate care facilities for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision and supportive care, home health care and in-home supportive services, public health field staff, primary care clinics, including Federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics, outpatient substance abuse treatment centers, mental health facilities, crisis stabilization units and community health workers, including promotors.  Employees who qualify for this phase will be notified through their employers.

The County received 3,550 doses of vaccine for the first round that was given to hospital staff and frontline workers. Angulo said that this week they received 975 doses that will be used for the second round. The county expects to receive the second round of Moderna vaccine next week.

Additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine and prioritization schedule is available on the Imperial County Public Health Department website.

Angulo said that during Phase1a, Tier 1, the vaccine was made available to healthcare workers caring for and working directly with COVID-19 patients and those administering vaccines. Those in Tier 1 who have not yet received the vaccine will still be able to receive it. The Public Health Department is partnering with local healthcare facilities and plans to work with local pharmacies to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to those who qualify.

After Phase 1A comes to Phase 1B, which includes people who are unable to work from home, live or work in highly impacted areas, or are most likely to spread the virus to coworkers or the public.

Phase 1B, Tier One includes:

  • People 75 and older
  • Workers in education, like teachers, and childcare
  • Emergency services workers
  • Food and agriculture workers, like farmworkers and grocery workers

Next up comes Phase 1B, Tier Two:

  • Anyone 65 or older with an underlying health condition or disability
  • Workers in transportation and logistics
  • Industrial, residential and commercial sectors
  • Critical manufacturing workers
  • Incarcerated individuals
  • Homeless individuals

Newsom said Monday the groups included in Phase 1C above are still preliminary until approved by the advisory committee. This group includes people that work in the news media.

“Phase 1B has two tiers and is a larger group so we have to prioritize those two groups with the vaccination since it will be limited. After 1B we will be going to 1C where journalists are included,” said Imperial County Health Officer, Dr. Stephen Munday.

The Imperial County Public Health Department will work directly with employers who have employees eligible to receive the vaccine. To assist in identifying and administering the COVID-19 vaccine to high-risk essential workers who are currently eligible or who will be eligible soon, the Imperial County Health Department recently launched an electronic assessment portal where local public and private employers are asked to provide information related to:

  • Number of individuals employed and their respective COVID-19 exposure risk;
  • Number of employees who are both interested and NOT interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine; and
  • Employer’s interest and ability to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at their worksite.

The assessment is available on the Imperial County Public Health Department website.  Employers are encouraged to respond by January 22, 2021.  Questions related to the assessment should be directed to Aracely Carrillo-Torres, 1-442-265-1443, or aracelyctorres@co.imperial.ca.us.

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