Please refer to the chart below for Vaccine Clinic Dates
Vaccines in the United States must go through a 3-stage clinical trial process that ensures the vaccine is safe to use and has high efficacy. This process usually takes 10-15 years to complete, but the COVID-19 vaccine received emergency authorization in less than a year. The FDA has granted this authorization to Pfizer and Moderna, who have already distributed 41,411,550 doses across the country.
There are currently more than 60 other vaccines going through this 3-stage process. Stage 1 checks the vaccine’s safety and determines if it causes an immune response against the virus in a small group of healthy individuals. The second stage increases the testing pool to include people who currently have or are more likely to catch the virus. The final stage expands the pool once more to include thousands of people of varying ages, ethnicities, and underlying health conditions.
California has received 7.3 million doses of the vaccine, 65% of which has been administered for a total of 4,784,478 shots. Stay up-to-date on the status of vaccines in California by checking back on this page.
Vaccinating Staff and Residents in Long-Term Care
California has created a plan for the equitable distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine across the state. This plan focuses on prioritizing people who, if vaccinated, will make the most significant impact on protecting the overall population against the virus. It prioritizes employees in fields with a higher risk of exposure and people with a greater risk of severe symptoms. If you have any questions about COVID or where you can receive the vaccine, call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at (833) 422-4255.
Healthcare workers are being prioritized first due to their increased risk of exposure and because their work helps maintain the capacity of California’s health system. Keeping these employees healthy will help sustain services for those with COVID and those in need of care for other reasons.
Long-term care residents are being vaccinated next because they live in congregate areas with increased risk of exposure and an increased risk of severe symptoms from the virus. Because of their age and underlying health conditions, residents in long-term care facilities represent 6% of the state’s COVID cases and 34% of COVID deaths. However, they comprise less than 1% of the population.
Distributing Vaccines to Long-Term Care
To help with the vaccine’s quick distribution, the CDC has established partnerships with drug store chains, CVS and Walgreens. Vaccines will be supplied to these companies, who will be in charge of distributing the vaccines to nearby long-term care facilities. They are scheduling and coordinating onsite clinic dates directly with each facility. You can check for vaccine availability at your local facility through the chart below.
CVS plans to provide vaccines to approximately 499 nursing homes and more than 15,000 long-term care facilities, including lower-level care like assisted living, within 12 weeks. This plan includes three visits to each facility: one to administer the first shot, the second to administer the second shot and the first shot for those who haven’t received it yet, and a third visit to get the second dose to the final recipients.
How California Compares
California is putting forth a good effort at administering the doses and vaccinating as many people as possible. They are making the strategic decision to prioritize individuals in the healthcare industry. These individuals have a higher chance of exposure and play a vital role in the vaccination process for others.
Unfortunately, more than ⅓ of COVID deaths in the United States are linked to nursing homes. In California, 33% of COVID deaths have been linked to nursing homes compared to the 78% in New Hampshire, 63% in Minnesota, and 60% in Kentucky.
Getting Your Vaccine
It is important to receive a vaccine to protect yourself and others against the COVID-19 virus. The vaccines are rolling out across the country and are currently available to healthcare employees and long-term care residents. The U.S. government’s Warp Speed initiative and the World Health Organization are working hard to develop and deliver as many doses as possible. The WHO has announced plans focused on delivering 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.
Vaccines are available for free, but the vaccine providers can charge administration fees for giving the shot. If your local vaccine provider charges administration fees, you can have this fee reimbursed through your private or public insurance company. If you don’t have insurance, contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about their Provider Relief Fund. This fund supports American families, workers, and healthcare providers.