COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Vaccine Distribution in Inyo County

Updated January 22, 2021

The supply of COVID-19 vaccine is very limited at this time.  This means that the vaccine will be offered to different groups of people in different phases.  When enough vaccine is ready, it will be offered to everyone.  Vaccine may not be available to the general public until the late summer of 2021.  

What vaccine is available in Inyo County right now? 

Inyo County residents are being vaccinated with both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, depending upon what we receive from the state.  At this time, we do not have the ability to allow people to choose which vaccine they prefer - it depends what we have on hand and are using at that time.  Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be safe and very effective in large studies that involved a diverse mix of people. These vaccines prevented 95% of cases of COVID-19 disease. While the vaccine stops people from getting sick,  it is not yet clear if it stops them from spreading COVID-19 to other people. It is also not yet known how long they will be immune. So, everyone must still wear a face covering, physically distance, and not gather, even after you have received the vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be free for everyone and will be offered to different groups in phases. It is likely to be available to the general public in the Summer of 2021. Please sign up for email updates to find out when vaccine will be available to you.

As usually happens during a crisis, misinformation is circulating about vaccines. Please see official sources for information about vaccine distribution. 

When can I get the vaccine? 

The supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be limited for the first few months. This means that the vaccine will be offered to different groups of people at different times (or phases).  Inyo County is currently vaccinating all Priority 1A residents; and has begun Priority 1B Tier 1 Residents.  If you believe your are in Priority 1A or Priority 1B Tier 1, please make sure to fill out this form.

The California Department of Public Health has convened a Drafting Guidelines Workgroup which is leveraging national prioritization frameworks and reviewing data regarding occupational exposure and COVID risk to prioritize sectors across phases and tiered population groups. Counties will follow these guidelines in administering vaccine.However, given the number of people falling into the various tiers in a specific county, the uptake of those in the priority group in getting vaccinated, and the logistics and timeline for use of the vaccine so that no doses go to waste, counties may be in different tiers in administering vaccine to their population.  For more information please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#When-can-I-get-vaccinated? 

Inyo County is following federal and state guidance to determine vaccine eligibility.  These priorities are subject to change based on changing guidance.  Please check back frequently for updates.  

Who is being vaccinated NOW?  

Priority 1A Tier 1 Populations: Vaccinated from December 19 – Present

Vaccine distribution in Tier 1 includes healthcare workers who work at Acute Care Hospitals, Psychiatric and Correctional Facility Hospitals, Workers and Residents at Skilled Nursing Facilities and Long-term Care Facilities, First Responders including EMTs and Paramedics, Healthcare staff at Special Needs Group Living Facilities, and staff at Dialysis and Infusion Centers.   

Priority 1A Tier 2 Populations: Vaccinated from December 19 – Present

Vaccine distribution in Tier 2 includes healthcare workers in Residential Substance Abuse Disorder Facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities, Home Health Care Services, Primary Care Clinics, Urgent Care Clinics, Public Health Field staff and Field-based Community Health Workers including Promotores de Salud at high-risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, and Regional Centers.

Priority 1A Tier 3 Populations: Vaccinated from December 19 – Present

Vaccine distribution in Tier 3 includes Healthcare workers in Specialty Clinic, Laboratory Workers, Dental and other Oral Health Clinic healthcare workers, Pharmacy staff not working in settings included in Tiers 1 and 2, and COVID-19 Testing staff.

Priority 1B- Tier 1 - BEGINNING NOW Until Complete

  • Non-medical first responders including law enforcement, fire fighters, front line social workers, people who work with high risk populations such as in homeless shelters. 
  • Teachers and childcare workers including support staff.
  • Essential Workers from the Food and Agriculture industries including those who must face the general public every day while working in grocery stores, restaurants, food banks, and food manufacturing.
  • Individuals aged 65 and older

Priority 1B, Tier 2 Populations – Once 1B Tier 1 is complete (Estimate: Mid-Spring 2021)

1B, Tier 2 populations includes individuals at high risk of serious illness from COVID 19, and who suffer from other social determinants of health that make the burden of disease especially significant.  It also includes essential workers from critical industries necessary to daily life. 

  • Homeless and unhoused
  • Transportation and Logistics Industries
  • Industrial, Residential, and Commercial Industries
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Incarcerated individuals

Phase 1C, Tier 1 Populations – Once Phase 1B is Complete (estimate: late Spring/early Summer)

  • 16-64 years old with underlying medical conditions that place them at high risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19
  • Water and Waste Management, Defense Industry, Chemical and Hazardous Waste Industry, Communications and IT, Financial Services
  • Government Operations/Community Services

General Public – Once Phase 1C is Complete (estimate: late Summer)

Who should NOT get the vaccine? 

Persons with a history of allergic reactions

If you have a history of severe allergic reactions (i.e. Anaphylactic Shock) not related to vaccines, you may be able to get the vaccine but should consult first with your doctor prior to getting vaccinated and you should be monitored for 30 minutes after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines, you should consult with your doctor before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a history of allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine you should not get that particular vaccine but may be able to get a different COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a history of allergic reaction to polysorbate you should not get any mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have an allergic reaction immediately after receiving your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the second dose.  

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Currently, there is not enough research on any COVID-19 vaccine to determine the safety for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and also belong to a high-risk group you may be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but it is recommended that you discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor first.

Persons who have had COVID-19 in the past 90 days

If you have already had COVID-19, you may have some natural immunity from reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, it is unknown how long this immunity lasts. Since reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is possible, it is recommended that you get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you have already had the disease. It is important to note that if you have already had COVID-19, you must wait 90 days after your diagnosis until you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Sign up for the Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine updates at (link).

Who makes decisions on how vaccines are allocated? 

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is an independent panel of medical and public health experts brought together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make recommendations about vaccine policies. The ACIP recommends to the CDC which people should be in each phase. While states often follow the ACIP recommendations, final decisions about when different groups will get the vaccine are made by each state. In California, those decisions are being made by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The Inyo County Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Division refines the state’s plan and decides exactly how each phase of vaccine distribution will be carried out: where vaccines will be given, who will be giving the vaccines, and how the county will make sure everyone has a chance to get a vaccine when it is offered to people in their phase.

How is it decided who gets the vaccine and when? 

These goals are used to guide decisions about the order in which people are vaccinated:

Goals – what we are trying to achieve:

  • Reduce deaths and cases of serious disease
  • Keep key healthcare services and the larger community operating.
  • Limit the extra strain that COVID-19 is having on people with chronic health conditions and people experiencing extreme hardship.

What about children? 

Children will not be offered vaccine in the near future. The Pfizer vaccine has only been authorized by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for people age 16 and over and the Moderna vaccine is only authorized for people age 18 and over.

What should I do when waiting for vaccine?  

Follow the prevention guidelines you’ve heard about since the pandemic started. You should cover your mouth and nose with a face covering whenever you are around others. Avoid close contact with other people outside your household, especially if they could be sick. Practice physical distancing and wash your hands often. See the guidance for reducing your risk. And note: you still have to follow these steps after you get both doses of vaccine.  For more information or for specific questions, please email vaccineinfo@inyocounty.us.  

 

 

Sign up for COVID Vaccine

Enter your information to get on the COVID-19 vaccine list.  You will receive updates on vaccine rollout and will be contacted when vaccine appointments are available for people in your priority tier.