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Public Policy Newsletter Article

State To Transition From Occupation to Age Based Vaccine Prioritizations

  • 2021-01-28T16:00:00.000+0000
  • Author: Jimmy Jackson

On Monday, January 25, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will shift from its three phased, multi-tiered vaccine prioritization system to an age-based system. According to this press release from his office, “The state will continue through 65+, health care workers, and prioritize emergency services, food and agriculture workers, teachers and school staff. From there, the state will transition to age-based eligibility, allowing California to scale up and down quickly, while ensuring vaccine goes to disproportionately impacted communities.”

Newsom maintained that this simplified system will allow the state to “increase throughput” and “increase speed and efficiency.” The significance of this change in procedure is that multiple counties have indicated to Biocom California in the past week that life science lab and manufacturing workers would likely be prioritized in Phase 1B, tier 2. If the revised model holds, that prioritization phase and subsequent phases would be eliminated. The age range groupings will likely depend on vaccine availability.

Earlier in the day, the administration also announced that all five California regions had been released from the regional shutdown order implemented in November, and the state was returning to the tiered county by county Blueprint for a Safer Economy standard. An overwhelming number of California counties start in the most restrictive purple tier.