Contra Costa County announced Thursday that teachers, grocery workers and other essential workers are now eligible to received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Residents that work in the following sectors can now sign up for a vaccine free of cost:
- Education and childcare
- Food and agriculture
- Emergency services
Joann Somerville teaches at San Ramon's Dougherty High School and said he’s elated that his number has finally been called to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“There’s nothing more than we’ve been waiting for since March 13 of last year,” he said.
Somerville is scheduled to get his shot Saturday, less than 48 hours after Contra Costa County health officials gave educators the green light to make appointments.
“To have this vaccine that’s readily available or soon to be readily available to the teaching masses is just phenomenal,” said Somerville.
The vaccine paves the way for the county’s 16,000 school employees to get protection against the deadly virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed the issue, after the White House and CDC say teachers don’t need a vaccine to return to work safely.
“I think to say that you’re not going to open up schools until every single one of the teachers get vaccinated, making it a sine qua non of opening, I don’t think we can go there,” said Fauci. “Otherwise it would be difficult to get the schools open.”
San Ramon Valley School District started the process last week. This week pre-K to six graders are back along with special education students.
Kerri Lee Pike is a high school teacher so she’s still holding class remotely. She got her vaccination Thursday because she has a pre-existing condition.
“I hope that everybody is taking the precautions that we are all committing to taking, I hope that there’s some semblance of normal but I know it’s going to be so different,” said Pike.
Different, she says, until the supply allows everyone to get the vaccine.
Eligible residents can sign up to receive the vaccine, here.