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Inland Vaccine Updates: New Sites, Appointments for Seniors and Teacher Eligibility

County of Riverside/TWITTER

Both Riverside and San Bernardino County officials say they each have around 800,000 people eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Weekly, the number of vaccine doses shipped vary, making it hard for county officials to plan ahead. This means with vaccine demand far outpacing supply, appointments continue to be hard to find. As new slots are released online, they are getting snatched up notoriously fast like the 3,500 appointments for the Fontana Speedway “super” site that filled up in less than 20 minutes on January 31. KVCR News has the latest information on who is eligible and resources for finding appointments.

Here’s where vaccination eligibility stands in each county:

Riverside County

In Riverside County there is now a difference between who is eligible at county run sites versus at community partner run sites.

At Riverside County run sites, the focus has shifted to only vaccinating residents age 80 and older. County Chief of Family Medicine Dr. Geoffry Leung, says this is because this age group is most at risk for complications, hospitalizations and death.

“We know that our community really wants to protect our vulnerable seniors and that’s why we’re starting with that age group,” said Leung. “And the other reason for that small age group is because we have such a limited supply of vaccine.”

At community partner sites, vaccination is continuing for people age 65 and older, workers in all tiers of Phase 1a, and tier 1 workers of Phase 1b. Eligible workers currently include those in the following industries:

  • Acute Care
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities
  • First Responders (paramedic/EMTs)
  • Correctional Hospitals
  • Behavior Health (psychiatric)
  • Dialysis Centers (staff)
  • Pharmacist & Pharmacy Staff
  • Intermediate Care Facilities
  • Education and Childcare
  • Law Enforcement
  • Home Health and IHSS
  • Public Health (field)/DPSS
  • Community Health Workers
  • Primary Care & Community Clinics
  • Urgent Cares (stand-alone)
  • Specialty Clinics
  • Laboratory Workers
  • Dental/Oral Health Clinics
  • Mortuary Services Industries
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Emergency Services

In San Bernardino County, vaccine distribution progress is slightly different. The newest eligible group from tier 1 of Phase 1b, are teachers who are currently teaching in person or plan to teach in person this school year. Schools and districts will work with their community partner sites like doctor’s offices and pharmacies to get their eligible teachers vaccinated rather than have them compete with seniors for online appointments at county run sites said County Board of Supervisors Chair Curt Hagman.
“The County’s wise management of vaccines and productive partnerships with vaccine providers such as hospitals and pharmacies are helping us to begin creating a safe environment for teachers and students, which is essential in our efforts to control the virus and return our communities to normal life,” said Hagman. 

Previously only fire and police personnel from tier 1 of Phase 1b were eligible. The county announced February 4 that all county fire and police personnel who wanted the vaccine have been given opportunities for the vaccine.

Here is the most current list of eligible workers for both county run vaccination sites and community partner run sites in San Bernardino County for all tiers of Phase 1a:

  • Acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals
  • Paramedics, EMTs and others providing emergency medical services
  • Dialysis Centers
  • Intermediate care, for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision and supportive care
  • Home health care and in-home supportive services
  • Community health workers, including promotoras
  • Public Health field staff
  • Primary care clinics, including FQHCs, Rural Health Centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics
  • Specialty clinics
  • Laboratory workers
  • Dental/oral health clinics
  • Pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers
  • Police and Fire

Where Can I get vaccinated?

Riverside County:

As explained in the previous section, Riverside County run sites are currently serving residents age 80 and older. These residents should check the Riverside County website for new appointments daily. Officials say this may change soon depending on vaccine supply. For those who do not have internet access or have trouble navigating the web can call 2-1-1 for assistance.

For all other eligible groups, a list of Riverside County partner clinics and pharmacies who offer the vaccine can be found here. Also, the city of Riverside is operating a vaccination site open to all eligible residents in the county and appointments can be made here.

San Bernardino County:

San Bernardino County run sites are open to all eligible groups. The most recent addition is the Ontario Convention Center which became the fourth county operated vaccination site on February 4.

All residents 65 and older, all tiers of Phase 1a and police and fire personnel should check the San Bernardino County website for new appointment times at sites in Ontario, Hesperia and San Bernardino. Seniors 65 and older can sign up for notifications about new appointments here. And those without internet access or who need help navigating the online portal can call (909) 387-3911.

Eligible residents can also check directly with their primary care physicians to see if they offer the vaccine and visit the following community partners resources for more appointment information: