California is starting to vaccinate residents 65 and older as demand subsides for health care workers, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.
“There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences,” Newsom said in a statement. “To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccine into the state.”
Bay Area counties and health care providers are gearing up to vaccinate seniors and here’s a rundown of what we know on where, when and how to get vaccinated.
Health care providers
If you have health insurance, your health care provider will alert you when you’re eligible to receive a COVID vaccine. We checked in with some of the largest providers in the Bay Area to find out when they will begin inoculating seniors and heard back from UCSF and Kaiser Permanente.
UCSF may start vaccinating seniors as early as next week. Due to limited vaccine doses, the health care provider will start with patients 75 and older, said Elizabeth Fernandez, a spokesperson for UCSF.
“Patients are to be notified via MyChart – for those who are not signed up on MyChart, they will be contacted through other means, but MyChart is the best path,” Fernandez wrote in an email. “Here’s the info we’re sharing on how UCSF patients can sign up for MyChart: ucsfhealth.org/mychart.”
Kaiser said in a statement it has administered 120,000 doses to people eligible as part of Phase 1a, but has yet to move onto Phase 1b that includes seniors. The health care provider did not provide a timeframe for inoculating seniors.
“We encourage Kaiser Permanente members to check kp.org/covid for updates on vaccine eligibility and availability and answers to frequently asked questions,” Kaiser said in a statement.
Your county is also a resource for vaccine information. Many are posting forms online to start the process to sign up for a vaccine appointment. You can also look to the county health department to get vaccinated if you are non-insured, underinsured, on Medicaid (or Medi-Cal), or are signed up with a county public health program.
The county hasn’t said when it will begin vaccinating seniors, but you can fill out a form on the Alameda County Department of Public Health website to receive notification when you’re eligible — find it here.
Contra Costa County
The county is beginning to assign vaccines to Phase 1b, which includes everyone over the age of 75, through its online registration system. Even those with insurance can get vaccinated through the county at this time, officials said.
“People with other insurance can make appointments and be vaccinated through Contra Costa Health Services,” Karl Fischer, a spokesperson for Contra Costa County Health and Human Services wrote in an email. “As other providers in our county begin vaccinating this population, we may shift appointments made by their patients back to the home health provider. Any patient with an appointment would be notified of any change in advance.”
You can find the appointment request form here.
The Marin County Department of Public Health said it hopes to complete Phase 1a by the end of January. This would mean they could move onto Phase 1b — which includes seniors — in February, but this depends on allocations from the California Department of Public Health, the county said.
The county sends a daily status update and is encouraging the public to subscribe (click here).
The county’s public health department website said the projected date for vaccinating seniors, those age 65 and over, is February 2021, but this could happen sooner.
“It may start as early as the end of this week or next week as we may begin some concurrent Phase 1B (along with ongoing 1A) vaccinations pending dose availability,” Janet Upton, a spokesperson for the county wrote in an email.
Find more information online.
San Francisco’s Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax announced in a Tuesday press briefing that the San Francisco Health Network will begin vaccinating its patients age 65 and over as early as the end of this week.
The network provides primary care in 14 locations across the city, including Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center and Laguna Honda Hospital.
“More than 14,000 people 65 or older are served by the San Francisco Health Network,” S.F.’s COVID Command Center said in an email. “They include the non-insured, underinsured, Medicaid (or Medi-Cal), and those enrolled in Healthy SF and other city programs.”
For more information, visit sfhealthnetwork.org.
The county hasn’t announced when it will begin vaccinating seniors. For vaccine updates in the county, visit the county health department website here.
Santa Clara County
Some health systems in the county are now allowing residents age 75 and older to receive the COVID vaccine.
“Individuals age 75 and older who receive their primary care through the County’s Health and Hospital System can now register for appointments through links available on the county’s website at sccfreevax.org,” the county said in a statement. “Other systems, including Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Stanford, and Kaiser expect to expand access to vaccine appointments to their older patients in Santa Clara County soon.”
For more information, visit the county’s vaccine website at sccfreevax.org.
The county hasn’t released a timeline for vaccinating seniors and is directing residents to find vaccine updates on its Solano County COVID-19 vaccine page: SolanoCounty.com/CovidVaccine.
The county is on track to start vaccinating seniors and residents can find updates here.
“Seniors 75 and older that don’t live in long-term care facilities are included in Phase 1b, so we hope to begin vaccinating them by the end of January,” the county said in a statement.
The county opened a drive-thru vaccination site with Safeway Pharmacy employees administering shots at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa on Wednesday. To sign up to receive updates on the timing availability visit safeway.com/pharmacy/covid-19.
Do you have questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine? Send an email to SFGATE News Editor Amy Graff who is tracking the vaccination process in the Bay Area.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Jan. 13, 2021, at 3:30 p.m. to include new information from the Santa Clara Public Health Department.