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Health

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens for new groups of Californians – KRON4

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California on Monday opened up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for more demographics.

Now, people with specific health conditions or severe disabilities, people who live in certain congregated spaces, and public transit workers can book an appointment.

According to the state, anyone who is between the ages of 16 and 64 with the following conditions may be vaccinated:

  • Cancer, current with 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%

The state said “healthcare providers may use their clinical judgement” when administering.

Vaccinations are also open to Californians who have developmental or other severe disabilities, as long as:

  • 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.

People who live in congregate settings like prisons, homeless shelters or behavioral health facilities are now eligible due to the settings being “at high risk for outbreaks and have a concentration of individuals with high-risk chronic health conditions,” according to the state.

And finally, people who work in public transit, including for commercial airlines, can sign up too.

Just because someone is eligible, does not mean a vaccine will be immediately accessible.

California providers are still prioritizing people from earlier groups who need their second dose, and at this time the vaccine supply remains limited.

Previously eligible groups include:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Long-term care residents
  • Individuals 65 and older
  • Sector populations:
    • Agriculture and food
    • Education and childcare
    • Emergency services

California estimates that with the new eligibility requirements, nearly 20 million residents are now allowed to book appointments.

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