Press release from the Humboldt County Joint Information Center:

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today outlined a new statewide approach to COVID-19 vaccine distribution. 

The new plan does not address the challenge of vaccine supply but does define three strategies intended to improve vaccine distribution as doses become available:

  • Simplifying which groups are prioritized for vaccination
  • Utilizing a statewide notification system for vaccine availability
  • Contracting with a third party to distribute doses directly to vaccinators.  

In an attempt to simplify prioritization, the state will shift to age-based eligibility after vaccinations have been scheduled for those in Phase 1B Tier 1—people 75 and older and those at risk of workplace exposure in the education, child care, emergency services and food or agriculture sectors. The state said it expects that change to take effect by mid-February. 

The state today officially launched, an online portal designed to register for notifications of vaccine availability based on priority group. The state anticipates adding a scheduling tool for appointments to the site next month, though the site is not yet operational for much of California, including Humboldt County. This portal is similar to Humboldt County’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form.” Public Health officials urge residents to continue filling out the local form ( until the state’s system is functioning.  

CDPH also announced that it will work with a third party to distribute vaccine doses directly to provider networks, including Public Health, pharmacies, public hospitals and community health centers among others.  

All aspects of the new plan are dependent on vaccine availability, and many of the proposed changes will not begin until next month.  

Humboldt County Public Health officials said much is still unknown about how these changes will be implemented locally, and there will be a transition period during which CDPH representatives will meet with Public Health to better understand conditions on the ground. Officials stressed that scheduled vaccination clinics and appointments will go on as planned for at least the next few weeks until the state puts in place a reliable system for Humboldt County residents to schedule and be notified of appointments. 

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