As the process of administering Covid-19 vaccinations is underway, you may be asking yourself questions such as, “Am I eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine?” and “Where and when can I get my Covid-19 vaccine?” Here are our answers to your questions!
*DISCLAIMER: Covid-19 Vaccine information such as eligibility and availability varies by county and state. For accurate information for your location, visit your government website for more information. This blog post is centered around Orange County, California and the information below is most accurate in this area.*
Who is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination?
As of February 22nd, California has moved into Phase 1B of vaccinations. This means that individuals fitting the descriptions in both Phase 1A and Phase 1B are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination.
According to California’s government website (covid19.ca.gov), these are the individuals who qualify for the vaccine:
Long-term care residents
Phase 1B (based on supply availability):
Individuals 65 and older
Agriculture and food
Education and childcare
If you are uncertain, you can check your availability through (https://myturn.ca.gov/).
Where to get the Covid-19 vaccination?
If you are an individual who meets the above criteria, then there are several ways to receive your vaccination. You can always google the administering facilities near you to schedule an appointment, but here are a few resources that could help you get started!
RiteAid has been administering Covid-19 vaccines based on supply availability at (https://www.riteaid.com/pharmacy/covid-qualifier). Also, CVS is administering the vaccine, though at the moment, all appointments are booked (https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine). However, appointments open up sporadically, so you can continue to check for availability. MemorialCare will also invite patients age 75+ to schedule via MyChart. As of now, they’re out of vaccines, but continue to monitor in case of changes!
If you are an Orange County resident, there is a service called Othena that will help you schedule your vaccination. You can sign up in 3 easy steps!
Go to othena.com. Click the button “First Time User”, which will take you to fill out a pre-screening questionnaire. Othena will place you in the queue for vaccinations.
Wait for Othena to contact you! They will send you an alert when it is your time in the queue. You will have a window of time to schedule, usually about 3-4 weeks after signing up. If you miss this window, you will be placed back at the end of the queue. Therefore, it would be prudent to download the Othena app, but you can also schedule on your computer.
Show up to your appointment! Then you will be directed with information about your 2nd dose.
If you are a Physical Therapist, there are several additional ways to get your vaccine:
Kaiser PT’s can schedule for their vaccines. Non-members within the accepted tier can also schedule. You will have to set them a medical chart then you will get a call for an appointment after about 5 days.
Hoag PT’s can set up MyChart and you will open up the schedule depending on vaccine availability.
UCI Pt’s + Guests:
Open to both UCI PT's and some others can sign up as guests
Who is next in line for vaccinations?
Beginning March 15th, California’s government website states that “healthcare providers may use their clinical judgment to vaccinate individuals aged 16-64 who are deemed to be at the very highest risk to get very sick from COVID-19 because they have the following severe health conditions:
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic pulmonary disease
Solid organ transplant
Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus”
Is the Covid-19 vaccination safe?
According to the CDC, the Covid-19 vaccination is very safe and effective! Getting this vaccine will help our country get herd immunity to make the virus less of a risk. The Covid-19 vaccine will help prevent you from getting Covid-19 and “may keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get Covid-19.” Additionally, the vaccine CANNOT give you Covid-19. You can visit the CDC’s website for information about the vaccine’s safety. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html).