REEDLEY, Calif. (KGPE) — A shift into Phase 1B Tier 1 of California’s vaccination plan took place in Reedley on Saturday as Kings Canyon Unified School District vaccinated 500 members of its staff.

“We really view this as one more opportunity to protect the health of our staff members and our students so that we can continue to provide them with educational opportunities in-person,” said spokeswoman Renee Delport.

The vaccination event, which was held in partnership with Adventist Health, marks the beginning of Phase 1B Tier 1 in Fresno County, which includes people 65 and older, as well as those in the following occupational sectors:

  • Education and childcare
  • Emergency services
  • Food and agriculture

However, Dr. Tomas Aragon, the Director of the California Department of Public Health, said the state’s primary focus is vaccinating people by age groups because the distribution process is most efficient that way.

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“We realized that in order for us to really save the most lives, save hospital capacity, and to really help the most impacted communities, an age-based strategy is the quickest, most efficient way for us to do that,” he said.

In Phase 1A, doses of the vaccine were given to counties based on the population of healthcare workers in the county. In Phase 1B, however, Aragon said counties will receive doses based on total population.