On January 25, 2020, the Monterey County Health Department announced that sufficient progress has been made vaccinating Phase 1a health care workers and that providers may now begin to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to Monterey County residents 75 years of age and older in Phase 1b Tier I of the California COVID-19 Vaccine Plan. Vaccination efforts will continue to reach the remaining health care workers in Phase 1a.
In accordance with guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health, while vaccine supplies are extremely limited, individuals 75 years of age and older will be prioritized within Phase 1b Tier I. Individuals 75 years and older are at much higher risk of severe illness and are dying at much higher rates than individuals in younger age groups. “After consulting with representatives from our local health care community and reviewing data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we believe that prioritizing people 75 years of age and older at this time will save the most lives,” states Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer and Director of Public Health.
Monterey County receives 2,000 to 4,000 doses of vaccine each week, half of which must be used for the second dose in the vaccine series. Local medical providers may not have enough vaccine to begin immunizing their patients 75 years and older right away. Options for those 75 and older to get vaccinated in the coming weeks will include community-based clinics, health care provider offices, local hospitals, and some pharmacies. Monterey County Health Department will schedule community-based clinics when new shipments of vaccine are received. Monterey County’s vaccine appointment registration website will be updated as clinics are scheduled: www.montereycountycovid19.com. Please note that individuals will be required to show proof of at least 75 years of age when presenting for community-based vaccination appointments. Individuals 75 years of age and older may also contact their health care provide to see if their provider is expecting to receive vaccine and, if so, when they can schedule a vaccination appointment. Similarly, those 75 and older can contact local hospitals and pharmacies to find out when they will offer appointments.
While vaccine supplies remain limited, the Monterey County Health Department asks all Monterey County residents to remain patient. The Department will continue to monitor progress vaccinating those 75 and older and hopes to extend vaccinations to those 65 and older as soon as possible. Until more vaccine is available, the Department asks residents to continue taking steps that will limit transmission of the virus and reduce strain on our health care systems. These include:
- Staying home except for essential activities
- Wearing a mask when leaving home
- Limiting interactions with people outside your immediate household
- Keeping physical distance of at least 6 feet apart
- Washing hand for 20 seconds
- Getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you are eligible and when vaccine is available
For more information about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccination, please visit www.montereycountycovid19.com or call the COVID-19 Call Center at 831-769-8700 Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.