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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego Mayor Gloria hosts town hall on COVID-19 vaccinations

Mayor Gloria used the virtual town hall on COVID-19 vaccinations to help people better understand the vaccine.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — As vaccinations become increasingly available to residents throughout the region, Mayor Todd Gloria lead a virtual town hall Monday evening to stress the importance of vaccinations for public health and economic recovery from the pandemic. The Mayor was joined by City Council President Dr. Jennifer Campbell and public-health experts who will provide information about vaccine development, safety and effectiveness.

The town hall was designed to help people better understand the vaccine, especially those in Phase 1A and seniors 65 and older, that are hesitant to get the vaccine. It should also help those trying to get a grip on making an appointment or knowing when it’s their turn.

The town hall happened as a group representing police officers and sheriff deputies called for law enforcement officers to get vaccinated now. Chula Vista police chief Roxana Kennedy, who also serves as president of the San Diego County Chiefs' and Sheriff's Association explained the push to get cops vaccinated now.

Watch the town hall in its entirety here:

“We're not trying to take the place of other people. I want that to be clear, but our officers and our deputies need to be protected so that they can go out and protect our communities,” said Kennedy.

San Diego County is strictly adhering to vaccination guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health.

It places police officers in Phase 1B-Tier 2, as emergency services workers, alongside people who work in education, childcare, food and agriculture. The county will not begin vaccinating this group until it finishes offering vaccines to the 1.2 million people who are currently eligible.

Firefighters have not faced the same limited access to the vaccine because many are cross-trained as emergency medical technicians, which makes them eligible for the vaccine under Phase 1A.

Kennedy points out law enforcement often provides first aid until firefighters and EMTs arrive. They must then undergo testing or quarantine if they later discover the person they were assisting had coronavirus.

“It's a daily situation where officers are involved in CPR and first aid measures,” said Kennedy. “I just hope that through all this discussion right now that our county supervisors and our public health officer will work with us and look at a way to help the officers and deputies in San Diego County.”