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More SLO County teachers, child care workers now eligible for COVID vaccines

Tribune - 2/27/2021

Feb. 26—The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department announced Friday that some local child care workers, teachers and school staff will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting on Monday.

The county will follow state guidance and allocate 10% of its weekly vaccine allotment for residents working in education and child care, a county Public Health news release said.

"We are excited to begin vaccinating our community's educators, including many who have been providing dedicated in-person care throughout the pandemic," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, county Health Officer. "The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and it's one of the best tools we have to end this pandemic."

Vaccine supply continues to be limited, and initial doses will go to those working closely with students who can't wear masks. As more doses become available, more child care and education workers will be eligible to get the vaccine.

The county Office of Education and Child Care Planning Council will schedule and manage vaccine appointments for eligible staff, which include teachers working with students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the release said.

Child care providers, teachers and school staffers will not make their own appointments, the county said. Instead, their employers will contact them to set up a date and time to receive the vaccine.

The county COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force will work with the Office of Education and the Child Care Planning Council to identify the first teachers, child care workers and school staff to receive vaccines.

"This is an important first step in vaccinating the many people who care for our students," said Dr. James Brescia, superintendent of the county Office of Education. "I appreciate the collaborative work of the local Vaccine Task Force in making this a reality and I encourage all teachers, school staff and child care workers who have questions about when and how to get the vaccine to talk with your employer for more information."

Few SLO County teachers previously eligible for vaccines

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Feb. 19 announced the new statewide vaccine allocation for educators, telling reporters California needs to vaccinate more school employees as increasing numbers of schools begin to re-open for in-person classes.

Prior to the 10% allocation, very few county teachers had been able to receive coronavirus vaccines.

Earlier in February, about 170 special education teachers and school employees who work with medically fragile students and those unable to wear masks received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

About 200 county educators had received their first vaccines as of February 19 — that's 0.55% of all 36,611 doses administered, a previous Tribune story said.

Roughly half of the county's 6,000 education employees are working in-person at schools and offices daily, Brescia told The Tribune this week.

How many COVID-19 vaccines has SLO County administered?

As of Friday, San Luis Obispo County has administered first doses of the coronavirus vaccine to 26,734 residents, according to Of those people, 9,877 have also now received second doses.

Additional health care workers have been vaccinated through Dignity Health and Tenet Health Central Coast, which receive vaccine doses directly from the state.

Chain pharmacies including CVS have received and administered doses to skilled nursing facility residents and employees. Pharmacies throughout the county have also started offering coronavirus vaccines to residents 65 and older on a very limited basis.

According to the California Department of Public Health, a total of 59,980 vaccines have been administered across the county by public health, chain pharmacies and local hospitals as of Thursday, the latest update.

The county said it will notify residents when it is ready to administer their second dose of the vaccine, either Pfizer or Moderna.

Due to limited supply, second-dose appointments may not be available on the exact day a person is eligible.

The county said that, while a second dose is required for maximum protections, a delay in receiving it isn't detrimental.

How to register for a coronavirus vaccination appointment

The county Public Health Department is only administering vaccines to people in Phase 1A and Phase 1B — health care workers, skilled nursing facility employees and people age 65 and older.

Teachers, child care workers and school staff will schedule their vaccine appointments through their employers, not the Public Health Department.

Vaccines are administered at three sites throughout the county: San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande.

Appointments can be made online at

They can also be made via phone at 805-543-2444. The county's Phone Assistance Center is now available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Residents can also receive email alerts about vaccinations by signing up at

Pharmacies throughout the county are now also offering coronavirus vaccines to healthcare workers and residents 65 and older on a very limited basis. Residents can currently schedule vaccine appointments online at the following pharmacies, according to

— Vons/Albertsons:

— Ralphs:

Cayucos Pharmacy:

— CVS Arroyo Grande:

If you need transportation to your vaccination appointment, call RTA Runabout at 805-541 — 2544 or Ride-On at 805-541-8747 to schedule a no-cost roundtrip ride.


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