As of this weekend, about a half-million more San Diego County residents are now eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine, according to county estimates.
The county is now vaccinating those under Tier One of Phase 1B, including essential workers from education and childcare; emergency services; and the food and agriculture sector.
"We thought we were going to be here for awhile, but everything went very quickly and everyone was very polite," Cecilia Valencia said.
Valencia is a chef, one of the many essential workers who make up the food and agriculture sectors. Other jobs in the food sector include restaurant workers, grocery store clerks, cafeteria staff and food manufacturer employees. For a full list of eligible jobs, click here. Under the agriculture sector, farm workers are an example of those eligible; for more details click here.
"I felt a thrill," said Dailyn Brown about securing her COVID-19 vaccine appointment. "Really, I felt like I scored tickets to Coachella. It was ridiculous."
Brown is an adjunct professor at Mira Coastal College and San Diego City College. Because she's an educator and her job falls under the education and childcare sector, she was eligible for the vaccine.
Those eligible for a vaccine under the education and childcare sector include all staff, volunteer, and contractors for childcare and early childhood education, TK- 12 and higher education.
"I'm thrilled," Brown said. "I feel like I'm going to get my life back."
Staff in transition kindergarten (TK) through 12th grade are being notified by email through the California Schools Voluntary Employees Benefits Association (VEBA) in order to schedule their appointments; all others must schedule their shots through a local health-care system or the county website.
Finally, those working in emergency services (including emergency-operations workers, fire and law enforcement) are also eligible for the vaccine.
Scripps Health has volunteered to vaccinate law-enforcement personnel -- including police -- and will be working with departments around the county to schedule shots for them.
The county is asking eligible essential workers to bring proof of employment, which can either be in the form of an ID, pay stub or a letter from their employer.
Efforts are under way to provide pop-up vaccine sites that require no appointments. On Sunday the county hosted a pop-up site at the Border View Family YMCA in San Diego. More are expected to open up.