SAN DIEGO — We all know the importance of vaccinating frontline health care workers and seniors over age 65.
“Our seniors represent 90 percent of our deaths. For a senior, COVID-19 can be a death sentence. And so, right now, we are doing seniors,” said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher at a news briefing last week.
But, when will police officers get vaccinated? As it stands now, Fletcher said, the vaccine is in short supply.
“The minute that we have any slack in our system – presently doing seniors 65 and older – then we will stand ready and willing to rapidly open up the appointment system for teachers, for law enforcement, and for food and agriculture,” Fletcher said.
On Monday at Petco Park, Governor Gavin Newsom was asked the same question about police vaccinations, and he basically gave the same answer.
“Flexibility is challenging when there is scarcity and I'm mindful of that in terms of the prioritization of tiers. In those tiers we also have teachers and members of law enforcement,” Newsom said.
San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson wants to know, if firefighters and lifeguards get vaccinations, why can’t police officers?
“No lifeguards are coming to my district to administer CPR. But my local deputy will,” said Anderson.
Anderson wrote a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking for a vote on Tuesday to recommend that police officers get vaccinated now.
“We’re asking Dr. [Wilma] Wooten to take into consideration that law enforcement is every bit as important as firefighters and lifeguards,” said Anderson.
The letter said there are about 4,000 law enforcement officers countywide, who sometimes have to give medical attention in the field.
If Anderson's request passes on Tuesday, it would only be a recommendation.
The final decision on who gets vaccinated would still be up the county's health department.
Other California counties have allowed police officers to get vaccinated. Those counties, technically, are in violation of the state's health guidelines.
But Newsom explained Monday that there is flexibility in the state’s health orders, which allows individual counties to make their own decisions on vaccination priority.