Younger Journalists May Have to Wait for a COVID-19 Vaccination

Journalists across California have been delivering the latest news on COVID-19 vaccinations to the public, likely with one question in the back of their minds: When can I be vaccinated?

The San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists wanted to find answers for our journalism community regarding California’s vaccine distribution plan. 

Originally, journalists and members of the media were included in the state’s Tier 1C for vaccinations, under the “Communications” employment category, which includes “Workers who support radio, television, and media service, including, but not limited to front line news reporters, studio, and technicians for newsgathering, reporting, and publishing news,” according to the state’s COVID-19 website.
But the tier system now appears to be irrelevant. 

Darrel Ng, the senior communications advisor for California’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, said the state is moving to an “age-based eligibility” plan for vaccine distribution.

“After the current Phase 1B, Tier 1, the remaining population will be prioritized by age,” Ng told us. “This is consistent with those who are most at risk for hospitalization or death from COVID. Phase 1B, Tier 2, and Phase 1C would no longer be relevant.”

When asked about those with pre-existing conditions, Ng said only that more details will be released in the coming weeks.

County of San Diego spokesman Michael Workman said, “The county is still trying to get further into Tier 1B. We are waiting for more granular guidance from the state.” 

Workman continued, “The only good thing about covid is that everything changes all the time. I hope this changes too.”

Naturally, we still have questions. SD-SPJ will continue to monitor this issue and keep the journalism community in the loop. 

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