Vaccine Eligibility Expanded, but Supply Still Limited


Man wearing a facemask preparing a dose of vaccine
Preparing a vaccine dose; Photo by Steven Cornfield

These upcoming weeks feel like a huge positive swing toward full vaccination and a move toward a return to normality. On April 1, vaccine eligibility in Yolo County expanded to those ages 50 and older. On April 16, eligibility will expand to everyone 16 and older. Though this is undoubtedly a move in the right direction, the state and county are urging residents to remain patient and cautious as we continue moving through the vaccine rollout.


The county has emphasized that even though eligibility is expanding, supply is still limited. “We expect vaccine supply to increase significantly during April, but for those who become newly eligible on April 1st, supply will remain very limited” said Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “Until we see an increase in supply, vaccine appointments will continue to be difficult to come by.”


WHO IS MOST AT-RISK?

Yolo County will continue to prioritize those at highest risk for serious complications or death from COVID-19 by reserving clinics and appointment slots for this population. Older adults are at higher risk for hospitalization and death if they are infected with coronavirus. According to Dr. Aimee Sisson, Yolo County Health Officer, Yolo County adults ages 75+ are about 300 times more likely to die after contracting COVID-19 than those younger than 75; adults ages 65+ are about 100 times more likely to die after contracting COVID-19 than those younger than 65; and adults ages 50+ are about 12.5 times more likely to die after contracting COVID-19 than those younger than 50. These numbers are significant and are why older adults have been prioritized in the vaccine rollout. If you are in one of these age groups, especially if you are older than 65, it is so important for you to get the vaccine to protect yourself. We also can connect caregivers (paid, unpaid, and family members) to vaccines to protect those older adults that they care for. If you are having trouble finding a vaccine, call YHAA at (530) 757-5583, and we will help connect you to a vaccine.


The CDC graphic below shows the risk of infection, hospitalization, and death by age group, compared with 5-17 year-olds as the reference group. This means, for example, that 75-84 year-olds are 3200 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than 5-17 year-olds.


WHEN SHOULD THOSE 50 AND OLDER GET VACCINATED?

Now that residents 50 and older are eligible, we are encouraging them to sign up for a vaccine as soon as possible. Even now, vaccines are in high demand and short supply, but as of April 15, everyone 16+ will be eligible, which means demand for vaccines will shoot up. You will be more likely to find an opening before this date. For a full list of options for signing up for a vaccine, view the article, How Do I Sign Up for a COVID-19 Vaccine? If you or someone you know is 50+ and is still having trouble finding a vaccine, you can call YHAA at (530) 757-5583, and we will do what we can to connect you to a vaccine.


IS THE VACCINE FREE?

The vaccine is free, regardless of having or not having health care insurance.


WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER I'VE BEEN VACCINATED?

Even after being vaccinated, remember to continue to follow public health guidelines, including wearing a mask and practicing social distancing in public, and avoiding gatherings when possible.


We are moving in the right direction! Stay vigilant and informed; get the vaccination when you are eligible; and continue to follow public health guidelines. Let's support each other through this, Yolo County!

Read the Yolo County Press Release for expanded eligibility here.