When can I get my COVID-19 vaccine? California trying to ramp up distribution
For now, the vaccine is still designated for medical personnel and first responders. But officials expect to provide details soon about the next wave.
After a slow and at times rocky start, California is trying to ramp up vaccine distribution.
For now, the vaccine is still supposed to go to medical personnel and first responders. But officials expect to provide details soon about who will next be eligible.
A million new vaccinations?
On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed to vaccinate an additional 1 million people against COVID-19 over the next nine days, though details of how he would do it were unclear.
Lookout’s Vaccine Watch, the latest on vaccine distribution countywide, is among eight Lookout initiatives documenting all aspects of the pandemic. For more, go to our COVID 2021 section, sign up for COVID Text Alerts and our COVID PM newsletter here, and leave feedback and ask questions at the end of this story.
Though California has received more than 2.1 million doses of vaccines, as of Friday about a third had been administered to frontline healthcare workers and residents at nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities who were eligible for the first round of inoculations.
Easing vaccine rules
The state has eased restrictions on who qualifies for vaccinations to help speed the rate at which local health departments and providers administer the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, a process that was created to ensure the well-off and well-connected couldn’t jump to the front of the line.
The new guidelines allow for vaccines to be offered to those in other lower-tier groups, such as teachers, childcare workers, people who work in emergency services, food and agriculture and people over the age of 75, if there is a risk of the vaccine expiring.
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Who is next?
The state might offer more details this week. But officials have said that after healthcare workers, these are some of the criteria for the next round of vaccines:
- Have higher risk for severe disease or death (due to age or other factors)
- Are unable to work at home
- Live or work in geographic areas that have been severely affected
- Are most likely to spread disease to other workers or to the public
Some of those who would be at the top of the line include, in order as outlined by the state:
- Individuals 75 and older
- Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture
- Individuals 65-74 years of age
- Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: transportation and logistics; industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services; critical manufacturing
- Congregate settings with outbreak risk: incarcerated and homeless people
- Individuals 50-64 years of age
- People 16-49 years of age who have an underlying health condition or disability that increases their risk of severe COVID-19
- Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: water and wastewater; defense; energy; chemical and hazardous materials; communications and IT; financial services; government operations / community-based essential functions
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.