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Information About California’s Approach to COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Updated April 9, 2021

  • Beginning April 1, 2021, Californians age 50-64 years old are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Beginning April 15, 2021, every Californian age 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • COVID-19 vaccine clinic volunteers are eligible for vaccination if they complete at least one clinic shift and are approved by the clinic’s organizer.

For more information on Covid-19 vaccines, including accurate and up-to-date information about safety and effectiveness as well as information on how to get vaccinated, visit This website was created and is managed by the California Department of Public Health. You can also call the Covid-19 Hotline at (833) 422-4255 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Pacific); Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific).

Updated March 19, 2021

Beginning Monday, March 15, 2021, the state of California expanded COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to individuals aged 16-64 deemed to be at the very highest risk of serious illness from COVID-19 due to other conditions, including:

  • 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%

Also, moving forward, the state is focusing on educators and health equity needs. Ten percent of doses now are reserved for educators to facilitate the reopening of more schools, and 40% will be reserved for individuals who live in the 400 lowest-income ZIP codes, as determined by the California Healthy Places Index (HPI).

With the U.S. government’s authorization of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine in late February, three safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are available. All viruses mutate over time. At least five variants of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) have been detected in multiple countries. The three authorized vaccines in the U.S. have demonstrated effectiveness with these variants, although at slightly lower levels than the original virus.

The state has contracted with Blue Shield of California to be the third-party administrator charged with analyzing populations, usage trends and equity goals to determine how doses will be distributed each week. The decisions are to be made in accordance with overall guidance from the California Department of Public Health. The process of scheduling vaccinations also will change under the revised program. The many current scheduling methods will be replaced with (available in 8 languages), which helps screen for eligibility, sends notifications as segments become eligible, and enables users to pick a vaccination location, date and time. To help bridge the digital divide, MyTurn also includes a call center (833) 422-4255, with support available in more than 250 languages.

This means that, in most cases, UC employees that are not front-line or essential workers will be vaccinated by their personal health care provider, pharmacy, community health center, or at mass vaccination sites operated by state or federal authorities. UC employees can connect with their provider for more information and guidance on eligibility for and access to the vaccine.

Three Important Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

  1. All vaccines authorized for use in the prevention of COVID-19 are safe and effective.
  2. You should take advantage of any opportunity you have to receive the vaccine, including through your county health department, your provider or a pharmacy.
  3. During clinical trials, no one who received the authorized vaccines died from COVID-19 infection, were hospitalized due to COVID-19, or died because of vaccine side effects.1

Get More Details

For more information on COVID-19 safety and vaccination distribution, go to UCnet. You can also register at to be notified when you’re eligible for vaccination. (Note that this website pilot currently offers limited online appointment booking capabilities.)

1 Based on data from clinical trials of the AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.