Home agriculture Report: LA Restaurant Workers Deemed Essential for Vaccination Priority

Report: LA Restaurant Workers Deemed Essential for Vaccination Priority

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A waitress takes customers' orders in the outdoor seating area of a restaurant on January 28, 2021 in Los Angeles. - California lifted blanket
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Los Angeles County is in the midst of a massive coronavirus vaccination campaign, including determining that restaurant workers will join the list of essential workers such as those who work in grocery stores, food service and agricultural jobs.

The LA Eater website reported on the development:

There has been much confusion about vaccinations for restaurant workers over the past several weeks, particularly after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an age-based system for future vaccines. However, state (and now local) officials have maintained that the age-based system won’t go into effect until later stages, meaning essential workers are still at the top of the current list for being vaccinated in LA County.

Ultimately, each county is responsible for much of the rollout surrounding the vaccines, which has led to issues of scarcity and oversupply (chaos, really, at times) in different areas, and a wealth of questions about who can be vaccinated, and when. It has been more clear for weeks up in the Bay Area that restaurant workers would continue to be prioritized, as state officials have long held, though such direct restaurant clarity has only come to LA County in recent days.

Per LA Times health reporter Soumya Karlamangla, food service workers alone number north of 400,000, with grocery store workers the second largest population set at over 80,000 people. Taken together, the food and agriculture arm of the essential workers category numbers well north of half a million people, all of whom will be eligible for their first vaccine dose in as little as a few weeks.

This is good news for a restaurant industry that has struggled to survive during the coronavirus pandemic, especially in states such as California where strict rules have closed down eateries for months with only curbside service available in many localities.

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