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San Diego hospitals prepare for next eligible COVID-19 vaccine recipients

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Posted at 11:41 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 14:41:40-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Under California's vaccine distribution guidelines on March 15, those with some underlying medical conditions or a disability will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

But how do you know if you fit in that category?

Some Scripps Health patients have already started receiving notifications letting them know a letter will be sent to those who qualify. These patients can schedule a vaccine appointment through the MyScripps online portal beginning March 15.

RELATED: California to ease tier guidelines for counties based on vaccine equity

Kaiser Permanente said they are "working diligently to administer the vaccines to the communities we serve equitably and efficiently," saying in a statement:

"Nationally, COVID-19 vaccine supply is still very limited and unpredictable. The state of California’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, demand for the vaccine still outweighs our supply and we are working diligently to administer the vaccine to the communities we serve as equitably and efficiently as possible. Kaiser Permanente is currently vaccinating people 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities and those who work in healthcare, education and childcare. 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.

In alignment with our core mission of health equity, we are responsible for vaccinating our members, and also the communities where we operate, and we are committed to doing so fairly and equitably. We are also working in partnership with state and local government agencies and other health care providers to establish large-scale vaccination sites for those who are eligible."

ABC 10News has reached out to the other health care systems in the county and we are waiting to hear back.

California public health officials say the changes to the vaccine rollout will not have any impact on the state’s plans to open up vaccinations on March 15 to those 16 to 64 with underlying medical conditions or disabilities. Those eligible in that phase include:

  • 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.

Under those changes, the state will loosen the requirements to move into the red tier of reopening after two million vaccinations have been administered in vulnerable communities identified by the state's Healthy Places Index.