Every resident of Orange County who is 65 years of age or older is now eligible to be vaccinated against coronavirus, county health officials said Tuesday, Jan. 12.
People 75 years and older – as well as city fire and fire personnel – were recently preferred by the OC Health Care Agency as it launches the second phase of the vaccination campaign, Phase 1B.
But after reviewing some alarming statistics on who is hospitalized and in intensive care due to COVID-19, the county’s vaccine task force recommended late Sunday to extend vaccinations to people 65 and older, the county’s health officer said. Clayton Chau Supervisory Board Tuesday.
Data from approx. Thirteen hospitals providing most of the care to COVID-1
“My goal is to ensure that we vaccinate the most vulnerable so that we can prevent them from entering the hospital, prevent them from entering the ICU and most importantly, prevent them from dying,” Chau said.
For now, he advises people to contact their doctor or health care provider to ask about being inoculated. The county also urges residents to plan to use a new app that it helped develop, called Othena, but the app does not yet allow people to make vaccination appointments.
This week, the county opens a major vaccination site at Disneyland that is expected to be the first of five such surgeries.
Like Phase 1A healthcare professionals, anyone now in the qualified age group needs an agreement initiated by organizations that serve older adults and cooperate with the county.
“There will also be targeted communication to these older adult communities,” says the website of the health care vaccination distribution. The shots are administered at both mass vaccination sites and smaller sites that will be deployed closer to where the elderly live.
Other cohorts in Phase 1B, including teachers and childcare workers, and workers in food and agriculture have not yet been invited to be vaccinated.
It was not immediately clear Tuesday whether the rollout to elderly residents had already begun as health workers in the overlapping Phase 1A continued to line up at invitation vaccination sites in Anaheim, Irvine and Huntington Beach, where shootings began last week.
The announcement came amid increasing pressure on health departments nationwide to get more needles in more arms.
This is a story that is evolving.