LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Teachers, childcare workers and grocery store employees will be eligible to sign up to get a COVID-19 vaccine starting March 1, but with the expansion come some changes that will make it easier for some to get the shot.
“I’m gonna get emotional,” Jeannette Romero, the executive director of Pasadena Day Nursery for Child Development. “I’m actually really excited. You get my true reaction cause I had not heard that!”READ MORE: Ventura Sheriff’s Detectives To Investigate Sex Abuse Allegations Against Elite Ojai School
For Romero, a year of worry seemed to lift the instant she was told about the new vaccination plan for education that specifically addresses those in early childhood education.
“Childcare workers will have a dedicated vaccination site opened for them at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, along with specific early childcare and education days at the L.A. County large-capacity vaccination sites,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said.
The change is just one part of the county’s plan to get schools of all kings back open.
In addition, the county will be giving weekly doses to public school districts, with equity in mind, using a formula that considers the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch, student enrollment and risk of exposure. Just 9% of available doses will go to private school teachers and staff.
“We know that we don’t have enough supply to vaccinate everybody all at once, so we wanted to make sure that we had an equitable process,” Debra Duardo, Los Angeles County Office of Education superintendent, said. “This is a really important step in supporting the safe return to in-person instruction in our communities hit hardest by the pandemic.”READ MORE: Shootings Reported In Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood
Mom Caryn Dobrow said she will be watching the process as it unfolds. She and her twins, one of whom is on the autism spectrum, have already had almost a year of online classes, but she wants them to go back only if it’s safe.
“I don’t want them going back and then someone breaks out and we have to close for two weeks,” she said. “Every child, whether they’re on the spectrum or not, they need the continuity of continuous schooling.”
Along with grocery store workers, teachers and daycare workers will get personal codes to set up vaccine appointments — another change to the system after it was discovered that people who were not yet eligible were finding and using community access codes to jump the line.
The rollout has not been ideal, but Dr. Hector Llenderrozos, of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, said he’s thankful to be in a place where vaccines are available, though limited.
“I would say that I’m realistically forgiving because it is, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that we are not aware of,” he said. “I would say that it’s amazing that we have the fortune of living in a place where this is possible. I’ve worked in placed where it isn’t.”MORE NEWS: Moviegoers Finally Back In Theaters, Excited For Summer Blockbuster 'Fast And Furious 9'
Also on Wednesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said he spoke with the White House and asked for additional vaccine doses, telling officials to, “give us the supply, and we will vaccinate everyone by July.”