Contra Costa Health Services anticipates being in position to open COVID-19 vaccinations to everyone 16 years old and older who lives or works in the county later this week -- some two weeks sooner than Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan for the statewide schedule.
In announcing the news Sunday, CCHS encouraged all Contra Costa County residents and workers who are currently eligible to sign up for a vaccine appointment as soon as possible in order to "beat the rush."
"Increased vaccine supply from the state and federal governments means that CCHS currently has thousands of appointments at its community clinics this week," official said. "CCHS expects to open eligibility to those 16 years or older later this week. Timing for that decision will depend on how quickly available appointments fill in the coming days."
The governor announced last week that statewide all Californians 50 and older will be eligible to be vaccinated as of this Thursday (April 1), while everyone 16 and older will qualify on April 15. But counties have the ability to expedite that process based on their supplies and logistics.
CCHS had already previously opened up COVID-19 vaccinations to all residents or workers in the county 50 years old and older effective March 22.
Currently eligible for the vaccination in the county:
* Anyone who is 50 or older and lives or works in Contra Costa County.
* Anyone who is 16 or older and has a high-risk health condition, disability or illness and lives or works in the county
* Essential workers who live or work in Contra Costa County, including health care personnel, emergency services workers, education and childcare workers, agriculture and food workers, transportation and logistics workers, and anyone who lives or works in a congregate living space in the county.
Appointments are required for those seeking vaccinations via public clinics or private health care providers. To schedule via CCHS, visit the online request form or the CCHS website, or by calling 1-833-VAX-COCO (1-833-829-2626).
"CCHS does anticipate a sharp rise in requests when additional eligibility is added, and long delays are likely on the appointment request phone line. Anyone who is able to do so is encouraged to use the online request form instead of phoning -- it will save you time," officials said.
"People who live in Contra Costa communities that are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including communities of color, are especially encouraged to request an appointment today," they added.