Prioritization (Information current as of January 16, 2021)
The availability of COVID vaccine will be limited in the first few weeks and months following its initial release. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has published written guidelines as to who should receive the vaccine first:
CDPH Allocation Guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccine During Phase 1A: Recommendations, December 5, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also published guidelines on December 22, 2020:
CDC Guidelines, December 22, 2020
The following guidelines follow both the CDC and the CDPH prioritization for COVID-19 vaccination with additional categories of people and professions added to create local clarity. CDPH guidelines must be followed. Ventura County Public Health (VCPH) prioritization may be followed; they are intended to sub-prioritize according to local realities and to provide some uniformity across the County. Ultimately, vaccinators will use some judgement in individual instances. Outbreaks in groups in lower tiers or phases may require earlier attention. In cases where vaccine is about to expire, those further down on the list may receive vaccine so as not to allow vaccine to go to waste. Subjective decisions must be made with equity in mind and not submitting to privilege.
Phase 1A, Tier 1
Acute care hospital staff who have patient contact will receive first allocations without regard to status in the medical hierarchy (staff includes all workers that work in the individual unit: janitors, housekeepers, maintenance, security, ward clerks, nurses, physicians, techs, respiratory therapists, lab techs, etc.):
COVID holding unit staff
Registry nurses working in the above units
All other healthcare workers in the acute care hospital (nurses, doctors, janitors, housekeepers, maintenance, security, ward clerks, nurses, techs, respiratory therapists, lab techs, etc.)
Staff at Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals.
Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities and similar settings that have registered with the Federal Pharmacy Participation Program (which has contracted Walgreens and CVS to carry out on site vaccination) will have both staff and residents vaccinated together.
All other hospital support units (laboratory, radiology, etc.)
Remaining hospital ancillary staff not previously mentioned
Following vaccination of acute care hospital staff, proceed with the following:
Staff at psychiatric hospitals/residential and in-patient mental health facilities
Residents of Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals.
Jail infirmary staff
Staff and residents of special needs group living
Paramedics, EMTs (only those who are currently active and, in the field,)
Phase 1A, Tier 2
Staff at Intermediate Care Facilities for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision and supportive care.
Residents of Intermediate Care Facilities for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision and supportive care.
Intermediate Care Facilities that have registered with the Federal Pharmacy Participation Program (which has contracted Walgreens and CVS to carry out on site vaccination) will have both staff and residents vaccinated together.
Primary Care Clinics, including FQHCs, rural health centers and urgent care clinics in zip codes 93015, 93030, 93033, 93036, 93040 and 93060. (While there are many zip codes with elevated case rates, these are the 6 with rates over 50 and which were centers of elevated rates even before the current surge.)
Home health care and in-home supportive services/Hospice staff
Public Health high risk workers and field staff
Primary Care Clinics, including FQHCs, rural health centers, correctional facility clinics and urgent care clinics not in the above-mentioned zip codes
Private MD Office Staff
Dental and other oral health clinics
Jail medical staff
Behavioral health outpatient staff/psychologists and social workers/staff of outpatient substance use disorder and crisis stabilization units
Community health workers including promotoras
Midwives (not vaccinated as in-hospital staff)
Medical Examiner Investigators
CDPH Licensing & Certification Surveyors
COVID Testing Site workers/COVID hotel site workers
Regional center staff
Phase 1A, Tier 3
Other health settings and healthcare workers
Blood bank workers
Pharmacy staff not working in settings in higher tiers
Ombudsmen for long term care facilities
Mortuary and cemetery workers
Persons aged ≥75 years
*Veterinarians are not included in Phase 1A. Message from the State: There are many workers within the California Essential Critical Infrastructure Sector of Health Care and Public Health who do not work in the riskier settings that qualify for Phase 1A. Examples include workers in veterinary clinics or health care manufacturing, whose work is essential but risk of occupational exposure is typically lower than worker eligible for Phase 1A. Workers in the Health Care and Public Health Sector are eligible in Phase 1B, Tier 2 if they do not otherwise qualify for an earlier phase or tier. *Family members who are not paid caregivers of Regional Center clients are not yet eligible in Phase 1A. Public Health is seeking State guidance for this group. Paid family and contracted respite caregivers paid by IHSS or other similar entity are eligible.
Phase 1B, Tier 1
65+ with an underlying health condition and/or a disability
Other persons 65 years of age or older
Essential workers (law enforcement, DA Investigators, food and agriculture, dispatchers, non-active EMT and non-EMT Fire Department employees, emergency services sector, education sector, childcare, corrections officers, youth authority, public health, U.S. postal workers, grocery store workers, jail custody staff)
Child welfare workers
Phase 1B, Tier 2
Essential workers (utilities; transportation and logistics; industrial, residential and commercial sectors; critical manufacturing)
The homeless and unhoused
Incarcerated individuals – jails and prisons
Persons aged 16–64 years with underlying medical conditions and/or disabilities that place them at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness and death
Essential workers not included in Phase 1B* (water, waste management and other utilities; defense; energy; chemical and hazardous; communication and IT; financial services; government operations and other community-based essential functions sector**/community service)
Phase 2 includes all other persons aged ≥16 years not already recommended for vaccination in Phases 1A, 1B, or 1C
ACIP is closely monitoring clinical trials in children and adolescents and will consider recommendations for use when a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use in persons aged <16 years