COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Vaccine Distribution in Inyo County

Updated March 17, 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 summer of 2021.  

What vaccine is available in Inyo County right now? 

Inyo County residents are being vaccinated with the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, depending upon what is received 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.  All of the available vaccines have been shown to be safe and very effective in large studies that involved a diverse mix of people. 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, you must continue to practice good hand hygiene, physical distancing, and masking when around unvaccinated people, even after you receive 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 the Inyo County Registration list to receive email updates to find out when vaccine will be available to you.  Updates are sent weekly to everyone on the Inyo County Registration list.  

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; Priority 1B Tier 1 Residents, people over the age of 65, and people who have the specific health conditions listed below.  Vaccines are not yet available for the general public; eligibility will be verified when you show up for an appointment. 

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 - January 22 - Present

  • Emergency Services Workers including law enforcement, fire fighters, front line social workers. 
  • 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

Expanded Priority as of March 15, 2021

Inyo County residents aged16-64 who could become very sick from COVID-19 as they have the following severe health conditions:

  • Cancer, current with a weakened immune system
  • Chronic kidney disease, Stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen-dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Solid-organ transplant, leading to a weakened immune system
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (but not hypertension)
  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%

    OR
  • If as a result of a developmental or other severe high-risk disability, one or more of the following applies:

    • The individual is likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection.
    • Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual’s ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival.
    • Providing adequate and timely COVID care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual’s disability.

Individuals on the Inyo County Registration list will be alerted when additional populations become eligible for vaccine.  Please make sure to sign up to stay informed.  

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, talk to your doctor before you get the second dose.  

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.

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.