A week after opening appointments for the coronavirus vaccine to residents and workers aged 50 and over, Contra Costa County officials are already planning to significantly expand the eligible age group as it has of 20,000 available firing locations.
Contra Costa health services spokesman Will Harper said on Monday the county plans to extend vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 years of age or older living or working in the county later this week. .
“It depends on how many applications we get from those who are currently eligible, which is why we encourage them to get nominated now,” Harper said.
The county has approximately 20,000 vaccination slots open to anyone currently eligible to get the vaccine.
“While the timing of joining this group has not been finalized, we are concerned about the number of appointments available at our community clinics this week,” Harper wrote in an email. “We are constantly evaluating the number of vaccine doses reaching us versus the number of appointments available and we use that to drive when we open up eligibility.”
About 44% of Contra Costa County residents aged 16 or older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 25% are fully immunized, according to the county’s vaccine database.
While other Bay Area counties struggle to vaccinate their eligible residents, Contra Costa County is actively seeking more people to give them doses. One reason for this trend is that Contra Costa County recently benefited from a new federal program aimed at inoculating medically underserved communities and disproportionately affected populations by distributing vaccines to a number of health centers. federally qualified community health. In addition to the state’s weekly vaccine allocation, the county has also received thousands of additional doses from the federal government.
Contra Costa County’s planned expansion of vaccine eligibility to all adult residents and workers comes as California is set to dramatically increase the number of vaccine-eligible residents across the state – but not as far as Contra Costa.
Beginning Thursday, Californians aged 50 and over in all 58 counties can officially get vaccinated through regular channels such as public health departments and health care providers. And two weeks later, on April 15, all Californians 16 and older will become eligible for a vaccine.
Eligible residents can request an appointment for a vaccine through Contra Costa County by filling out an online form here or by calling 833-829-2626.