Governor Newsom announces new COVID-19 vaccine eligibility criteria

Everyone 16+ years old eligible in April
Posted at 2:53 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 20:47:29-04

KERN COUNTY, Calif. — In just a few weeks, many more California residents will be eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

"We are announcing that we are modifying, in a stair-stepped manner, our eligibility," said Gov. Gavin Newsom in a press conference Thursday.

On April 1, every Californian 50 years and older can get a shot. On April 15, everyone 16 and older will be eligible.

“So in just a few weeks, there will be no rules, no limitations, as it relates to the ability to get a vaccine administered," said Gov. Newsom.

Michelle Corson with the Kern County Public Health Department said Kern County already has the infrastructure to administer these additional vaccines.

"Our fairgrounds vaccination site alone, we’ve been doing upwards of, you know, maybe 1,500 in a day whereas we can do over 5,000 each day, so with more vaccines we can ramp that up immediately," she said.

Corson said there is a concern that people with a higher risk of severe COVID-19 cases won’t get their vaccines as quickly when more people become eligible. She said those groups should get vaccinated now.

“Get those vaccines before the other tiers begin to open. This is the time. Things are about to get busier so we really want these vulnerable groups to get vaccinated," said Corson.

According to Gov. Newsom, more Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna shots will be available for California. A hopeful sign that the end of the pandemic is close.

“There’s not just light at the end of the tunnel. There’s bright light at the end of the tunnel," said Gov. Newsom.

You can call the Kern County Public Health Department between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 661-321-3000 for assistance in making a vaccination appointment.