Vaccine clinic held for Santa Cruz County homeless population on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
Michael “Cowboy Mike” Martyn, 71, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic for homeless individuals on Tuesday, March 16.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Vaccine Watch

PHOTOS: Santa Cruz County begins vaccinating its homeless residents

After the California Department of Public Health expanded the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine to include people experiencing homelessness, Santa Cruz County began inoculations with a clinic at Housing Matters on Tuesday. Lookout photo contributor Kevin Painchaud captured the scene.

Santa Cruz County’s unhoused individuals began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this week after state health officials expanded eligibility to include adults with disabilities, comorbidities and those who are experiencing homelessness.

While the county has expressed in the past that it will deploy mobile vaccination units to reach more homeless people, a vaccination clinic was also held Tuesday at Housing Matters.

In the cold Tuesday morning air, a line of unsheltered people formed outside the building on Coral Street, ready to get a jab in the arm for protection against the viral killer.

Healthcare workers prepared the Janssen vaccine — Johnson and Johnson’s single-shot vaccine that was recently given emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

Here’s a visual look at the process of getting inoculated for one 71-year-old homeless musician named Michael “Cowboy Mike” Martyn:

Vaccine clinic held for Santa Cruz County homeless population on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic for homeless people in Santa Cruz County on March 16, 2021.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Vaccine clinic held for Santa Cruz County homeless population on Tuesday, March 15, 2021.
Healthcare workers prepare vaccine doses at a clinic for homeless people at the Housing Matters facility in Santa Cruz on March 16, 2021.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Vaccine clinic held for Santa Cruz County homeless population on Tuesday, March 15, 2021.
Doses of the COVID-19 vaccine ready to be administered at a vaccine clinic in Santa Cruz County.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Vaccine clinic held for Santa Cruz County homeless population on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
A line formed outside Housing Matters for a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on March 16, 2021.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Vaccine clinic held for Santa Cruz County homeless population on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
Michael “Cowboy Mike” Martyn, 71, talks to a volunteer at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for homeless individuals on Tuesday, March 16.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Vaccine clinic held for Santa Cruz County homeless population on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
Michael “Cowboy Mike” Martyn, 71, fills out a form before getting a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic for homeless individuals on Tuesday, March 16.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Homeless people get vaccinations at clinic in Santa Cruz on Tuesday, March 16, 2021
People, including 71-year-old Michael “Cowboy Mike” Martyn, wait for their turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic for homeless people at Housing Matters on March 16, 2021.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Vaccine clinic held for Santa Cruz County homeless population on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
Michael “Cowboy Mike” Martyn, 71, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic for homeless individuals on Tuesday, March 16.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Vaccine clinic held for Santa Cruz County homeless population on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
Michael “Cowboy Mike” Martyn, 71, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic for homeless individuals on Tuesday, March 16.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)