Thanks to an increase in supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Contra Costa County is extending vaccine eligibility to anyone who is 50 and older and lives or works in the county, regardless of whether they have an underlying health condition.
The move comes as the county has begun receiving additional vaccines from the federal government for its federally-qualified health centers. This federal allocation is in addition to the vaccine the county gets from the state each week.
A week ago, Contra Costa expanded eligibility to ages 16 through 64 and older with qualifying underlying health conditions. Today’s announcement removes any health-related qualifiers for those between the ages of 50 through 64.
“We look forward to the coming months when we can do away with vaccine eligibility, when anyone and everyone is eligible,” said Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chair Diane Burgis. “More and more doses of the vaccine are coming into the county each week and we expect that trend to continue.”
To date, more than 336,000 county residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including 96% of those age 75 and older. The county will further expand eligibility to others when the vaccine supply increases more.
“COVID does not affect everyone the same,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, the County’s health officer. “Older people are more likely to suffer severe disease. Nearly all of the COVID deaths in Contra Costa have been among people over the age of 50. We are making good progress vaccinating those in the groups already eligible and will now continue to prioritize more of the most vulnerable groups in our community.”
More than 235,000 county residents are between the ages of 50 through 64.
“We are fortunate to have three highly effective vaccines right now,” Dr. Farnitano said. “All the health officers in the Bay Area strongly recommend getting whatever vaccine you can to protect yourself, your loved ones and our community.”