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COVID-19

Vaccine Distribution in Los Angeles County

When can I get the vaccine?

The supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be limited for the first few months. This means that the vaccine will be offered to different groups of people at different times. When enough vaccine is ready, it will be offered to everyone. The phases will overlap so, for example, a person in Phase 1A may get their second dose of vaccine at the same time as a person in Phase 1B gets their first dose.

Sign up for the Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Email Newsletter and/or get more information by visiting VaccinateLACounty.com.

  • Green circles show groups that have been, or are being, offered vaccine
  • Red squares show groups that will be offered vaccine on March 1.
Phase 1A

All groups in Phase 1A are now being offered vaccine.

Vaccination began in mid-December.

Phase 1A  Phase 1A Healthcare Workers
How to get vaccinated
  • Healthcare workers and residents of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)
  • Healthcare workers and residents of other long-term care facilities (facilities that provide medical and personal care to adults, such as assisted living facilities and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals, and special needs group living facilities)
  • Healthcare workers listed* in the Health Care/Public Health Sector of the CA Essential Workforce if they have one of the following occupational risks/critical functions:
    • Those at risk of direct patient exposure from their clinical and non-clinical roles
    • Those who come into direct contact with the virus through research, development, manufacturing, or testing
    • Those who are manufacturing vaccine, therapeutics, devices, supplies or personal protective equipment

Exception: the following Health Care/Public Health Sector workers are not considered eligible for Phase 1A per CDPH Vaccine Allocation Guidelines:

    • Workers that manage health plans, billing, and health information
    • Workers supporting operations of outdoor recreational facilities for the purpose of facilitating physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise
    • Cannabis industry employees working in Food and Agriculture for growing, production, storage, transport and distribution (eligible in Phase 1B, Tier 1)
    • Workers supporting veterinary services (eligible in Phase 1B, Tier 1)
Phase 1B

Vaccine is not yet available to persons listed in Phase 1B, except for persons age 65 and older.

Phase IB Tier 1
How to get vaccinated

Persons age 65 and over are now eligible for vaccination. For the rest of Phase 1B, Tier 1, vaccination will begin on March 1.

The following prioritization is from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy Phase 1B, Tier 1

  • Persons 65 years and older
  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors:
    • Education and childcare
      • Public Schools (K-12)
      • Independent Schools
      • Charter Schools
      • Daycare and Early Childhood Education
      • Contracted Educational Support Staff
      • Junior Colleges
      • Colleges & Universities
    • Emergency services
      • Police/law enforcement officers
      • National Security
      • Corrections officers and workers
      • Courts/Legal Counsel & Prosecution
      • Campus and school police
      • Rehabilitation and Re-entry
      • Federal law enforcement agencies
      • Police, Fire and Ambulance Dispatchers
      • Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures
      • DCFS, APS (workers physically responding to abuse and neglect of children, elderly and dependent adults)
    • Food and agriculture
      • Food service workers
      • Food manufacturing workers
      • Grocery store workers
      • Animal agriculture workers including those involved in veterinary health
      • Farm workers
      • Veterinarians
      • Food and Agriculture-associated port and transportation workers
Vaccine distribution
Who makes the decisions about how vaccines are distributed?

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is an independent panel of medical and public health experts brought together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make recommendations about vaccine policies. The ACIP recommends to the CDC which people should be in each phase. While states often follow the ACIP recommendations, final decisions about when different groups will get the vaccine are made by each state. In California, those decisions are being made by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

How is it decided who gets vaccine and when?

These goals and principles are used to guide decisions about the order in which people are vaccinated

Goals – what we are trying to achieve:

  • Reduce deaths and cases of serious disease
  • Keep key healthcare services and the larger community operating.
  • Limit the extra strain that COVID-19 is having on people with chronic health conditions and people experiencing extreme hardship.

Principles –the guidelines that will help us get to our goals:

  • Do as much good and as little harm as possible. For example, make sure we use the vaccine that comes to Los Angeles County as efficiently as possible AND make sure people don’t have to go to crowded places where they could catch COVID-19 to get the vaccine.
  • Reduce health inequities. This means that the needs of people who experience worse health due to poor living or working conditions are recognized in planning the phases for distribution.
  • Promote justice. This means, for example, making sure richer people can’t buy their way to a place at the head of the line.
  • Promote transparency. In other words, make sure the public has information on every step in the process and knows where they can get more information if they need it.

In addition, there are other things to consider, like how to offer the vaccine in a way that reaches as many of the people in each phase as possible. This is complicated, especially since we don’t want people to gather in big crowds where they can’t be six feet apart when they get vaccinated.

Who was offered vaccine first?

Healthcare workers and people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are being offered the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Phase 1A.

  • Healthcare workers are at high risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 and getting sick. Healthcare workers include clinical staff such as doctors, nurses, and therapists as well as people who work in other areas like laboratories and hospital environmental services. Vaccinating these people first protects them, but it also helps to keep the healthcare system working and helps protect patients from getting COVID-19. Other groups of healthcare workers include those who are working directly with the virus (such as people researching vaccines and treatments) and those who are making COVID-vaccines, treatments, or PPE.
  • People who live in long-term care facilities (for example, nursing homes) are at high risk of COVID-19. This is because they live together and are often older adults with medical conditions. If they get infected, they are more likely to get very sick and even die. Vaccinating people who live in these settings will save lives.
What about children?

Children will not be offered vaccine in the near future. The Pfizer vaccine has only been authorized by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for people age 16 and over and the Moderna vaccine is only authorized for people age 18 and over. The next vaccines that will be authorized by the FDA are also for persons age 18 and over.

How is vaccine being given?

Current situation – residents of long- term care facilities, healthcare workers, and persons age 65 and over

  • Healthcare workers who work for hospitals in LA County are being vaccinated by their employers.
  • Healthcare workers and residents of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are being vaccinated onsite by the facility staff, Public Health, community, or healthcare partners. 
  • Healthcare workers and residents of other long-term care facilities with congregate living, such as assisted living, are being vaccinated onsite by staff from Walgreens and CVS thorough a federal pharmacy program.
  • Public Health and county, city, community, and healthcare partners are working together to vaccinate other healthcare workers and persons age 65 and over in community clinics, special vaccination sites called PODs (Point of Dispensing Sites), pharmacies, and some senior housing developments and senior centers.

Expanding access to vaccination

When vaccine is available to other groups of people, it will likely be given at:

  • Health clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
  • Pharmacies
  • Some workplaces
  • Some senior housing developments and senior centers
  • Mobile vaccination units
  • Special vaccination sites run by Public Health and county, city, community, and healthcare partners
What should I do while I wait to be vaccinated?

Follow the prevention guidelines you’ve heard about since the pandemic started. You should cover your mouth and nose with a face mask whenever you are around others. Avoid close contact with other people outside your household, especially if they could be sick. Practice physical distancing and wash your hands often. See the guidance for reducing your risk.

More information


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  • Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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