By Juliette Goodrich

ALAMEDA COUNTY (KPIX 5) — Health officials in Alameda County ramped up its COVID vaccination rollout plan on Monday, expanding who is eligible to receive the vaccine under the current tier.

According to the Alameda County COVID-19 website, as of February 8, essential workers in education and child care (both formal and informal), emergency services including law enforcement and food and agriculture now qualify for a shot.

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Unfortunately, a shortage of vaccine doses continues to hamper distribution.

One of the mass vaccinations sites will be at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, where tents, signs and traffic-control pylons have already been set up.

For kindergarten teacher Mandi Boni, the vaccination site can’t open soon enough.

“I was pretty excited,” Boni said. “Teaching online has been a challenge.”

Boni has been told the “process” of getting teachers their first shot is starting, but she is still unclear as to what that means.

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“What does starting the process mean? Well, I know there are a lot people to be vaccinated,” said Boni. “But we haven’t heard anything yet from our district as far as when it is our turn.”

Community and county vaccination sites , doctors offices, clinics and pharmacies are gearing up to distribute close to 82,000 Pfizer vaccines and 90,200 Moderna vaccines county-wide.

School districts have been asked to submit a list of names based on priority, placing educators already working with children in person at the top of the list.

“They gave us a ranking system and so it’s first for the teachers who are actually face to face,” said Boni. “I would love to get back in the classroom, but I know that the people that are sacrificing themselves to go in teaching face-to-face, they should go first before the ones teaching at home :

On its website, the Alameda County Health Department noted, “Like other jurisdictions, Alameda County has insufficient vaccine supply and anticipates that it could take several months to get through Phase 1B Tier 1.”

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County officials hope to have the mass vaccination sites at the Alameda County Fairgrounds and the Oakland Coliseum up and running by next week.

Juliette Goodrich