Under California’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, the state has opened up Phase 1B. Individuals 65 and older, as well as three sector populations including education and childcare, emergency services, and people in the agriculture and food industry, are now allowed to be vaccinated. Although these individuals are eligible to be vaccinated, Bryan Little, Director of Employment Policy at California Farm Bureau says availability has been “hit or miss”. So far, vaccine distribution has been on a county by county basis and Little said, “There are some counties who have done a good job prioritizing agriculture employees and some who have not.”
Little added there is also concern with Governor Newsom’s efforts to reorganize statewide vaccine distribution. He stated, “It looks like they want to just take all of the decisions about and the allocation of vaccines out of the hands of the local departments of public health and turn it over to BlueCross. Then have everybody have to make their appointments on MyTurn. I think it’s really not clear the degree to which that’s going to be something a lot of agriculture employees feel comfortable doing.”
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