Millions more California residents will become eligible for a COVID vaccine on Monday

Ed Walsh

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San Francisco's Moscone Center vaccination site. Photo by Ed Walsh

Millions of more residents here in the San Francisco Bay Area and the State of California will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations next week.

Starting on Monday, March 15, the State of California states: “Healthcare providers may use their clinical judgement to vaccinate individuals age 16-64 who are deemed to be at the very highest risk for morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 as a direct result of one or more of the following severe health conditions, and individuals in specified settings are eligible to be vaccinated due to increased risk, as specified in this provider bulletin:

  • Cancer, current with debilitated or immunocompromised state
  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (excludes hypertension)
  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%

OR

If as a result of a developmental or other severe high-risk disability one or more of the following applies:

The individual is likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection

Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual's ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival

·Providing adequate and timely COVID care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual's disability

OR

Update on March 11, 2021: “Individuals who reside or work in a high risk congregate residential setting, such as an incarceration/detention facility, homeless shelter, or behavioral health facility, as these settings are high risk for outbreaks and have a concentration of individuals with high risk chronic health conditions. This includes all people experiencing homelessness, who are at risk of transitioning into congregate settings at short notice.

OR

“Update on March 11, 2021: Public transit/airport and commercial airlines. Public transit workers, including airport and commercial airline workers (but not private airplanes) will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. They are at high risk for occupational exposure and maintaining continuity of transportation operations is critical.

“The list of eligible conditions is subject to change as additional scientific evidence is published and as CDPH obtains and analyzes additional state-specific data.

“This provider bulletin is meant to clarify and update California's vaccine administration prioritization policy. It may be updated periodically to aid all vaccinators as the state moves through its efforts to vaccinate all eligible populations and as supplies increase over time.”

Meanwhile the City of San Francisco issued a press release on Friday, announcing that HIV positive people will now be among those who will be permitted the vaccine starting on Monday.

“Getting vaccinations to people with disabilities and who have severe underlying conditions, and people who are in congregate settings, is an important part of our efforts to save lives and protect our most vulnerable residents,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “Next week, we’ll be moving forward with expanding vaccine access in San Francisco and we’ll continue working with accessibility advocates and community members to make sure we are doing our best to reach everyone who is eligible. Although supply is still not at the level we need it to be, we’re continuing to make good progress and we’ll keep doing our best to get vaccines to people as quickly and conveniently as we can.”

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