California's COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will expand in March

In an announcement on Friday, California residents between the ages of 16 and 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine next month.

Posted: Feb 15, 2021 6:30 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2021 8:15 AM

REDDING, Calif. – People aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions in California will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine next month, according to an announcement from the state on Friday.

“It gives a chance for people who have cancer, diabetes, other diseases, and immune problems you can think of a chance to survive and not be worried,” said Ruth Plato of Redding.

People with underlying health conditions include those with cancer, Down Syndrome, heart conditions, severe obesity, women who are pregnant, and other underlying health conditions. For more information about underlying health conditions, click here.

“I think it's a great move because the more people that get it, it's going to help curve the disease more quickly,” said Abhishek Chaturvedi of Fremont.

Even with the new guidelines, the state says health care providers can use their medical judgment when it comes to whether they vaccinate someone.

As of right now, Shasta County is still getting people over 65-years-old vaccinated. Shasta County is still in charge of its vaccine distribution plan and said supply continues to be an issue.

“We have to do the 65+ people first,” said Kerri Schuette, the spokesperson for the Shasta Health and Human Services Agency. “Then we will get to the people who are 16 to 64 with those chronic health conditions.”

The state hopes to begin vaccinating this group by March 15, depending on vaccine availability.

“Our plan is to vaccinate them when we have enough vaccine, but right now we just don't,” said Schuette. “We are going to have to wait and see what the supply looks like at that time.”

Public health said it does not know what its supply will look like by mid-March.

Shasta County Public Health said counties request the vaccine from the state but it is up to the state as to how much it delivers to the counties.

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