In a meeting this week, a committee advising the Newsom administration on COVID-19 vaccine distribution described the hundreds of requests it has received, many related to food and agriculture. They range from individuals making their cases for priority to broad classes of workers.

The Public Health Department on Monday placed workers in the water sector within the third round of the vaccine plan. This pleased Dave Eggerton, who directs the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).

Like the availability of food, the availability of drinking water is essential to life,” he said.

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The committee has received letters from the mayors of Tulare and Watsonville urging farmworkers and others in the agriculture and dairy industries be prioritized first. Those workers are now on the list in the second round, just below healthcare workers and long-term-care residents.

More than 150 veterinarians wrote to the committee asking to be classified as healthcare workers in Phase 1A. Requests also came in from the trucking industry and Teamsters, among many others.