January 13, 2021
Governor Gavin Newsom today announced changes to COVID-19 vaccination eligibility guidelines that will allow counties to begin immediately vaccinating anyone over age 65.
“The changes announced by the governor today will accelerate the rate of vaccinations across California. We share the governor’s commitment to get as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said California Medical Association (CMA) President Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D. “These revised guidelines will help make that happen, and help us turn the tide against this deadly pandemic so we can safely reopen our schools, our economy and our society.”
The Governor also announced a new system to let people know if they are eligible to receive a vaccine, and if not yet eligible, to register for a notification via email or text when they are eligible. That system is expected to launch next week. A second phase of that system will help counties, cities and others run mass vaccination events. It will include a way for eligible members of the public to schedule their vaccination appointments at those events. CMA will provide a link to those resources when they become available. Individuals in Phase 1A – health care workers and long-term care residents – remain the highest priority to receive vaccines as demand for the vaccines continues to exceed supply. However the new guidelines are intended to increase the pace of COVID-19 vaccine distribution to those at greatest risk. As of Monday, California had administered less than 1/3 of the 2.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine it has received.
Last week state public health officials also modified guidance for vaccine administrators that will allow them to administer unused doses to those in lower priority groups when “when demand subsides in the current groups, or doses are about to expire according to labeling instructions.”
Federal officials also said they plan to withhold fewer doses, sending more vaccine out to states instead of holding some back for second doses.
View the new guidance here.