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San Benito County expands vaccine eligibility to more groups

SAN BENITO COUNTY, Calif. (KION) San Benito County officials say more residents are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Officials said they have focused on vaccinating people aged 75 and older, but they are now ready to move further into Phase 1b Tier 1.

The county said it is ready to start vaccinating the following groups:

  • People aged 65 and older
  • Those at risk of exposure while working in education and childcare, emergency services or food and agriculture

There are still some people over the age of 74 who are waiting for a vaccine, but the county believes it has made enough progress and has scheduled enough appointments to expand eligibility.

David Westrick, Public Information Officer for San Benito County says that they're recently had mass vaccination sites vaccinating those in phase 1A and at least vaccinated half of their population," says Westrick.

"Before we were prioritizing by age 75 years or older but now since we think we have done at least 50% of those folks, we now feel comfortable advancing into the occupations and those that are 65 years and older," says Westrick.

Cesar Lara, Director of the Monterey Bay Labor Council representing farmworkers and teachers say they were surprised by the move. the union hopes that other counties on the Central Coast follow what San Benito County announced today for its workers.

"The sooner we get essential workers vaccinated and those are our farm workers, our teachers, our restaurant workers, the sooner we can reopen the economy," says Lara.

This move comes as the county sent a letter to the state asking for more doses of the vaccine for its farm working community. A sign that vaccine supply is still a major hurdle to get people vaccinated in San Benito County.

The county warns that vaccine supplies are still limited, so they will not be able to vaccinate everyone in Phase 1b Tier 1 at the same time.

If you are eligible and your physician or pharmacy is offering the vaccine, they are expected to contact you to coordinate. If you are not the patient of a pharmacy or physician offering the vaccine. Public Health Services will contact you. Officials are asking patients not to call providers directly, but wait for them to contact you.

To fill out an online vaccine interest form, visit the county website here.

Health / News / San Benito County / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.


1 Comment

  1. I am thinking that soon I will be able to make an appointment. I work in the education sector, but…I am only 60 so not in the age group at the moment. Lots of misinformation floating about so I do have my concerns, but I am more concerned about the virus so I will get vaccinated when my turn comes up. I am fortunate that my employer will tell me when I can make the appointment and how to make the appointment and where to go. I wonder if they automatically tell you what day to come back and give you a return appointment.

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