NEWS! Governor Newsom Discusses California’s Tiered Vaccine Prioritization

California Governor Gavin Newsom held a news conference today, largely focused on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, which the first rounds began yesterday.

Governor Gavin Newsom in California Press Conference

The discussion over vaccination prioritization comes as several regions in California are under new stay-at-home orders, including Southern California, where Orange County is located. The region is currently in the second week of the required three-week minimum duration of the order.

During a question and answer session at the end of the news conference, a reporter asked Governor Newsom about when the state would step in if a county was being too flexible with their vaccine distributions.

Gavin Newsom ©(Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)

Specifically on the topic of county flexibility, the reporter asked, “Would the state step in if Orange County, for example, decided to vaccinate Disneyland workers before teachers?” The question called in a discussion with Governor Newsom and California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly on the steps the state is currently taking to established a tiered vaccine prioritization.

Queue to enter Downtown Disney

Governor Newsom first responded by saying that “The bottom line is: the state sets the tone, the state sets the tenor, the state lays out the prioritization for the distribution of the vaccines.” He did mention that state partners such as healthcare providers, clinics, and hospitals would have discretion, it would have to still be within the guidance laid out by the state.

Health and Safety Sign

Dr. Ghaly added a comment by saying that the state is working with counties to discuss “what the priority groups are,” and getting buy in from the counties. He noted “if we do see clear deviations from that, that we have the tools to address it.” Dr. Ghaly did note, however, that he doesn’t see that as being a major concern just yet.

New Health and Safety Sign in Downtown Disney

Currently, discussions are happening in the state of California to establish its next group of vaccine recipients. Currently, the state is in tier 1A, which includes mostly healthcare workers. The next group, tier 1B, would include as Dr. Ghaly described “essential or critical infrastructure workers,” which would more than likely include teachers. However, tier 1B has not been officially decided on yet by the state.

We will continue to follow California’s vaccine distribution and will let you know if we learn of any more developments!

Click here to read more about the regional stay-at-home order in California.

Do you live in Southern California and are currently under the regional stay-at-home order? Let us know in the comments.

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