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COVID-19 Vaccines Available Beginning Monday For Those With Underlying Medical Conditions

A nurse helps prepare syringes with the Moderna vaccine at the Coronado Commu...

Photo by Jacob Aere

Above: A nurse helps prepare syringes with the Moderna vaccine at the Coronado Community Center, Mar. 1, 2021.

Starting Monday, COVID-19 vaccinations are available for San Diego County residents ages 16 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher made the announcement last week but added that first appointments may be hard to find. The underlying medical conditions that qualify someone for a vaccine include, but are not limited to: cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic pulmonary disease, sickle cell, obesity and Down syndrome.

A complete list of those eligible can be found on the county's website. People who qualify will not have to show documentation of their illness but will be asked to sign a self-attestation that they meet the criteria.

The new eligibility comes as San Diego County is expected this week to move into the red tier for COVID-19 case rates. The move from the purple tier into red will allow for limited indoor operations at restaurants and gyms. It also means more schools can reopen.

The county is also launching a new media campaign that will have TV ads running in English and Spanish aimed at reaching those hesitant about getting vaccinated.

Right now, over 26% of San Diego County residents aged 16 and over have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 16% are fully vaccinated. As appointment delays are piling up, health officials say it is okay if second dose appointments are pushed beyond the recommended six-week window.

“Folks having to delay past 42 days — that is okay — you should still try to get your shot as early as you can,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director for the county’s epidemiology and immunization services department. “And you don't need to repeat a first dose —- that’s a very common question.”


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