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City employee vaccine eligibility

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

The County of San Diego has added emergency service sector workers to the list of people eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, starting Feb. 27. County guidance on the types of jobs included in the emergency services sector category can also be found on the county’s website (see Phase 1B, “Emergency Services”). Based on our initial understanding of the criteria, some of the specific city jobs and areas of responsibility that fall under this category include:

  • Police and fire personnel

  • Public Works Department staff

  • Staff who support the city’s Emergency Operations Center, including Department Operations Centers, temporary evacuation points, and care and shelter operations

  • Staff who work at the city’s designated cool zones (library and senior center)

  • City attorneys

  • Staff who support workers in these roles could also be eligible

City staff could also qualify under the food and agriculture category, also eligible starting Feb. 27:

  • Workers essential for food assistance programs

This is exciting news, and we know it also will raise questions.

What to do next

Check your email for the eligibility letter that was emailed on 3-1-21 that may be used by city employees to verify eligibility at vaccination sites. Once you determine you are eligible, you can make an appointment with your own health care provider, through a county vaccination site, at a local pharmacy offering COVID-19 vaccines or through the Operation Collaboration sites.

What is an Operation Collaboration site?

Operation Collaboration is a partnership between local fire departments (including ours) and the county. The city operates a vaccine site through Operation Collaboration at the former Farmers Insurance building on the corner of El Camino Real and Faraday Avenue.

Attached is a list of links to make an appointment at Operation Collaboration sites, including the Carlsbad site, this Sunday, Feb. 28. Links for additional days will be sent as they become available.

How will I be notified?

We will send a link to the Operation Collaboration appointment website via email and text. If you would like to be notified by text, please sign up for the city’s text alert system (city-provided cell phones have already been added to this text alert list). Please be aware the website to make an appointment could become available over the weekend.

How do I prove I am eligible?

If you believe you meet the criteria, bring a copy of the attached letter and your city ID to the vaccination site. Vaccination sites make the final determination about eligibility, not the city. This means you could be turned away if the site personnel find that you do not meet the eligibility requirements.

I don’t have access to a printer. Can I show a digital copy of the letter?

Most vaccine sites will accept a digital copy of eligibility information, but site vaccine site personnel make the final determination about eligibility and how to verify it. The Operation Collaboration site in Carlsbad will accept a digital copy.

What if I’m not sure if I am eligible?

We know there will be many questions about eligibility. Please review the county guidance on the essential services sector to determine whether the work you do qualifies.

Does the city have a list of who qualifies by job title or department?

No. Because city employees can have the same job title yet perform different duties, eligibility must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please review the criteria to determine if your duties qualify.

Can my family and friends get vaccinated too?

No, this eligibility only applies to employees. Anyone not eligible or without a city ID will be turned away.

Do I have to pay for the vaccine?


Do I have to get vaccinated?

No. It’s highly recommended, but the city is not requiring employees to be vaccinated.

Which vaccine would I get?

There are two currently approved for use: one made by Pfizer and one by Moderna. You will get whichever vaccine is available at the time of your appointment.

Will there be enough appointments for everyone who is eligible?

No. Appointments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. This means you may have to wait for appointments to become available. More appointments become available as new vaccine supplies arrive. The city does not determine when appointments become available, we simply are notified of their availability by the county.

What should I do if I am having trouble with the appointment website?

The city does not manage the software used in making the appointments. We have had reports of technical problems from time to time with appointment websites. Our best advice is to keep trying or try one of the other vaccination appointment sites. All are listed on the county’s vaccine website. The city’s website has a list of pharmacies offering vaccines, each with its own appointment system.

How can I find out more about COVID-19 vaccines?

The CDC website is a good source of information about vaccines. The county health officer answers commonly asked questions in this video.

Members of the city’s COVID-19 task force are available to talk to city employees about this recent change, although at this time, all the information we have to share is included in this email. Here are points of contact:

Judy von Kalinowski: 760-473-4670

Darrin Schwabe: 760-271-5548

Kevin Lynds: 619-253-1412

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