San Diego County to open vaccine eligibility to people with specific medical conditions in March

Vaccine Older Adults
Posted at 6:02 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 13:13:02-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), starting March 15, healthcare providers will be able to offer COVID-19 vaccines to people between the ages of 16 and 64 with severe and specific underlying health conditions.

CDPH has asked healthcare providers to use their clinical judgment to vaccinate certain people who are at a high risk of morbidity and mortality if they are diagnosed with COVID-19.
The CDPH released the following list:

  • Cancer, current with debilitated or immunocompromised state
  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen-dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (excludes hypertension) Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%

People with developmental or other severe high-risk disabilities may also be qualified as listed here.

Despite issues with the current vaccine supply in San Diego County, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher believes the county will be prepared for this group in March.

"I think the plan is yeah, March 15 that we would, again it's all dependent on the supply of vaccine, in terms of how many appointments are there," said Fletcher during a county coronavirus briefing on Wednesday. "How quickly you move through all of those is dependent on the supply."

The county announced by March 1, vaccinations will be open to the first group of essential workers like teachers and police officers. Then by March 15, people with qualifying medical conditions listed by the state can go next.
Fletcher said it would be easier for people to go through their healthcare providers who have access to patients' medical records; however, those who don't have a provider can go through a county site.

A spokesperson for CDPH tells ABC 10News, "We will continue to work with the federal government to increase our vaccine supply, but ultimately there are limits to how much vaccine can be manufactured at this point."
Both Sharp Healthcare and Palomar Health tell ABC 10News they are awaiting guidance from the county.
ABC 10News did not immediately hear back from Scripps Health.

A spokesperson for Kaiser Permanente sent the following statement.

"Nationally, COVID-19 vaccine supply is still very limited and unpredictable. The state's eligibility expansion to people with health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious risk from COVID-19 makes sense and is the right next step from a public health perspective.

However, without a significant increase in the supply of vaccine from the federal government, it will take months to vaccinate this new population. The good news is that vaccine supply coming to California does appear to be increasing, and the state's new effort to improve the effectiveness of vaccine distribution shows great promise, so we are hopeful that the number of Californians vaccinated will continue increasing every day. The state has increased the allocation that Kaiser Permanente will be receiving in the coming weeks, and we will use this increased supply to significantly increase the number of our members we are able to vaccinate."
Kaiser Permanente