Contra Costa may expand COVID vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and over this week

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Contra Costa: COVID vaccine eligibility may expand to 16 and over this week
Inside the registration area of the COVID-19 vaccination site at Richmond Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, March 29., 2021 (Photo credit: Kathy Chouteau)

By Kathy Chouteau

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) announced today that it “expects to open eligibility to those 16 years or older later this week,” prompting its encouragement of county residents currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccines to request their shots today. 

According to CCHS, increased vaccine supply from the state and federal governments has translated into it having thousands of appointments at its community clinics this week. CCHS said that the timing for the new decision to expand eligibility to all residents 16 and over will depend on how quickly open appointments fill in the coming days. 

Those currently eligible for vaccine appointments include anyone age 50 or older who lives or works in the county and anyone age 16 or older with a high-risk health condition, disability or illness who lives or works in the county, per CCHS. Also qualifying for appointments are essential workers who live or work in Contra Costa County, including healthcare 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.

Outside the registration area of the COVID-19 vaccination site at Richmond Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, March 29., 2021 (Photo credit: Kathy Chouteau)

The aforementioned people qualifying for appointments are encouraged by CCHS to “beat the rush by requesting appointments as soon as possible” using the online request form at cchealth.org/coronavirus or calling 1-833-VAX-COCO (1-833-829-2626). Appointments are required at CCHS vaccine clinics with each individual patient having their own appointment.

A sharp rise in requests is anticipated by CCHS when additional eligibility is added, as well as long delays on the appointment request phone line. Using the online request form instead of phoning will save people time, a fact confirmed by the Standard.

“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,” said CCHS in a statement.

Need to help a friend or loved one through the appointment request process? Use the Help Your Neighbor page for tips.

Outside the registration area of the COVID-19 vaccination site at Richmond Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, March 29., 2021 (Photo credit: Kathy Chouteau)

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