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Vaccine eligibility update, Mar. 12

Categories: Health & safety, Vaccine

Dear Stanford community,

I’m writing with another update on the COVID-19 vaccination situation.

There are many positive signs right now about the trajectory of the pandemic. Among them, we’re encouraged by President Biden’s announcement last night that he is directing states to make all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations by May 1. It’s important to keep in mind that becoming eligible still often means waiting for an appointment to get a shot. But we welcome every sign of progress.

This last week has been challenging for vaccine supply in our local area, unfortunately. A number of providers, including Stanford Health Care, have had to postpone first-dose vaccination appointments due to reduced vaccine supply coming in.

This supply situation is beyond the control of the vaccination providers themselves, and it is expected to be temporary. The state’s vaccine distribution system is changing right now, and this is among the factors contributing to fluctuating supply. We know that it is disappointing and frustrating for those who are eligible to be vaccinated but are having to wait. We hope and expect that more appointments will be freeing up in the near future.

As a reminder:

  • Those currently eligible for vaccinations in California are health care workers, individuals age 65 and over, and persons at risk of occupational exposure to COVID-19 through their work in education and child care, emergency services, and the food and agriculture industries.
  • As vaccine supply is available, those who are eligible should seek out vaccination through any available distribution channel. Appointments can be made through health care providers and vaccination sites in the county where you live. Links are available on Stanford’s Vaccinations web page.

New: On Monday, March 15, the California Department of Public Health is expanding vaccination eligibility to people aged 16-64 with severe health conditions or disabilities that place them at higher COVID-19 risk. The State of California’s vaccine website provides a list of the conditions that apply (click on the “Vaccinating those at higher risk” rollout on that page).

Again, it’s important to remember that eligibility under the state’s criteria does not necessarily mean that appointments will immediately be available. Many vaccination providers are struggling with the supply limitations I mentioned above.

We will continue to provide updates as we learn more about vaccine supply. Thank you for all you are doing to keep one another healthy and safe, and to help move us all toward the end of this pandemic.

Russell Furr
Associate Vice Provost
Environmental Health & Safety