|(Feb. 22, 2021) -- The City of Long Beach's Dept of Health and Human Services (a city management operated department) quietly bent state vaccination priority rules to enable International Longshore Workers Union ILWU) dockworkers to reserve COVID-19 vaccines although they're not within groups prioritized for vaccination.
Putting dockworkers in the same category as health care workers, teachers and police and firefighters, effectively lets the ILWU workers take places that would otherwise go to those in prioritized groups,
The story was first reported on Feb. 15 in Maritime Executive at this link.
In response to a Feb 22 inquiry by LBREPORT.com as to who authorized the ILWU vaccinations, city management's Joint Information Center provided a copy of a Feb 18 letter from the CA Dept. of Health and Human Services. Addressed to "Dear Honorable Elected Officials," the letter (signed by Tomás J. Aragón, MD, Dr PH, Director and State Public Health Officer CA Dept, of Public Health) states in pertinent part:
Beginning in February, the state is implementing a statewide standard under which health care workers, individuals 65+ and education and child care, emergency services and food and agriculture workers will be eligible to start making appointments to receive the vaccine, pending vaccine availability. These are the groups identified in Phase 1B, Tier 1. Port workers may be eligible for the vaccine under 1B, if they fall within the definitions under the Food and Agriculture sector. Specifically, if, as a worker at a port, an individual is essential to the:
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LBREPORT.com invites our readers to decide if these standards allow ILWU dockworkers to jump ahead of other residents. It's currently unclear who among City officialdom were involved in authorizing the ILWU vaccinations, before or after the Feb. 18 CA Dept, of Public Health letter.
As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, the City of Long Beach bent state vaccination rules to enable Mayor Garcia and LB Councilmembers to receive early vaccinations on January 14, 2021 by claiming the electeds belong in the same category as emergency services workers and are necessary to ensure the "continuity of local government" (LBREPORT.-com coverage here.)
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