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California Guidelines For Vaccination Phases

Vaccination is one of the most important tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The State will equitably distribute a safe and effective vaccine to everyone in California who wants it. We expect to have enough supplies to vaccinate most Californians by summer 2021.

Who can get vaccinated now

Individuals At Higher Risk

Vaccinations are available for the estimated 4.4 million people in California at higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness. This includes those with certain significant high-risk medical conditions, disabilities, illness, living spaces, or work environments.


Individuals with these conditions are strongly encouraged to check first with their usual health care provider. They can advise if you can get your vaccination with them, or in an alternate clinical setting.

Health Conditions

Healthcare providers may use their clinical judgment to vaccinate individuals aged 16-64 who are deemed to be at the highest risk to get very sick from COVID-19 due to the following severe health conditions:

  • Cancer, current with weakened immune system
  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Solid organ transplant, leading to a weakened immune system
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (but not hypertension)
  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%

Disabilities Or Illness

Healthcare providers may also vaccinate individuals with  developmental or other severe disabilities or illness if:

  • The individual is likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection
  • Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual’s ability to get ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival
  • Providing adequate and timely COVID care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual’s disability.

These include people with a range of physical and behavioral disabilities, such as:

  • People with serious mental illness (SMI)
  • Those with serious substance use disorder (SUD)
  • All enrolled consumers of:
  • Regional centers
  • Independent living centers
  • In-home supportive services
  • Community-based adult services/adult day health centers
  • Medi-Cal HIV/AIDS waiver
  • Medi-Cal home and community-based alternatives waiver
  • Medi-Cal assisted living waiver
  • Programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly
  • California children’s services program (if the child is 16-21 years old)
  • California genetically handicapped persons program

Congregate Living Spaces

Individuals who live or work in a congregate residential setting are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, which includes:  

  • Incarceration/detention facility
  • Homeless shelter
  • Behavioral health facility.

These settings are at high risk for outbreaks and have a concentration of individuals with high-risk chronic health conditions. This includes people experiencing homelessness, who may transition into congregate settings at short notice.

Transportation and logistics - public transit/airport and commercial airlines

Public transit workers, including airport workers for commercial airlines (but not private airplanes), will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. They are at high risk for occupational exposure, and maintaining continuity of transportation operations is critical.

Equity For Hardest-Hit Communities

California must end the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly and effectively as possible by vaccinating those most at risk of serious outcomes and those who have been most exposed at work or in their daily lives. This will protect not just those who are vaccinated but reduce additional community transmission. By targeting vaccines to those who most need them, we can also begin to safely reopen activities across our economy.  


The state is directing 40% of vaccine doses to the hardest-hit areas of the state based on the lowest quartile of the Public Health Alliance of Southern California’s Healthy Places Index (HPI). Our next goal is to reach 4 million vaccine doses administered to the hardest-hit communities in the state, which represents about 25 percent of eligible Californians.


This approach will help lower the rate of community infection, hospitalizations, and deaths, and reduce potential new variants that might emerge with each additional case. It is the most equitable and impactful way to distribute our still-limited vaccine supply to end this pandemic.

Who Will Get Vaccinated Next

All Californians should have access to COVID-19 vaccines by spring 2021. 

To be notified when it’s your turn, sign up at myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255.

How To Get Vaccinated

How you will be vaccinated depends on when you are eligible and the available supply at the time you are eligible. 

Verify Your Eligibility Or Schedule With My Turn

Every Californian can sign up at myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to see if it’s their turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 


People with a high chance of exposure, high-risk, and those 65 or older are eligible for vaccination and can schedule appointments now. If you’re eligible and live or work in certain counties, you can schedule an appointment through My Turn. Appointments are available in Spanish.


If it’s not your turn yet or appointments are not available, you can register to be notified when you’re eligible or when appointments open up.

Geographic Requirements By County

Due to high demand and limited supply, each county is setting its own geographic requirements. Most limit vaccination to those who live or work within the county. Appointments may be canceled if you don’t meet the local requirements. Check the county’s vaccination website to make sure you are eligible before making an appointment.

Special Access Code For Educators and Childcare Providers

Educators and childcare providers under age 65 will be able to book an appointment on myturn.ca.gov with a special access code. The state is working with local education and childcare organizations to distribute these codes. Learn more about the K-12 school staff and childcare vaccine allocation plan(this is a pdf file).

Vaccines are highly effective against severe COVID-19. No fully vaccinated person died due to COVID-19 during studies of the three authorized vaccines.

How Vacines Work

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes a few weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus. That means it is possible a person could still get COVID-19 just after vaccination because the vaccine has not had enough time to build immunity. 


If the vaccine you got requires two shots, be sure to get both doses so it can work fully. 

Vaccine Safety

COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA have been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials. These vaccines were authorized only after it was found that they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.


The authorized vaccines are up to 95% effective against a person becoming ill with COVID-19.

The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how the federal government is working to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

Safety Monitoring After Vaccination

Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, using both established and new safety monitoring systems. These vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. Learn more facts about COVID-19 vaccines.


Results from monitoring efforts are reassuring. Many people have reported only mild side effects after the COVID-19 vaccination. Some people have no side effects.

You Cannot Get COVID-19 From The Vaccine

The vaccines do not contain coronavirus and cannot give you COVID-19.

Benefits Of Getting Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. But they have other benefits, too:

  • In the rare case that you do still get COVID-19, the vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build immunity. COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you.

COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal.

What To Expect After Vaccination

You May Have Mild Side Effects

After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. These are normal signs that your body is building immunity. The most common side effects are pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot. You may also have fever, chills, tiredness, or headache. They may affect your ability to do daily activities but should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting vaccinated.


If you have experienced a side effect after COVID-19 vaccination, you can report it to:

  • VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System)
  • V-safe (After Vaccination Health Checker)

Spread The News About The Vaccines

Vaccinate ALL 58 is our state’s COVID-19 vaccination program for Californians in all 58 counties.


Share that vaccination against COVID-19 is here. Visit the COVID-19 Response Toolkit page to find images and videos you can post on social media.

Vaccination Progress Dashboards

These dashboards make vaccination data transparent and accessible to all Californians. They are updated daily.


Initially, vaccination was limited to healthcare workers and long-term care residents. Hence the data reflects those populations more than other California residents.


The dashboards report vaccines administered by the county of residence. Where the county of residence was not reported, the county where vaccinated is used. This applies to less than 1% of vaccination records. The sum of county-level vaccinations does not equal statewide total vaccinations because some out-of-state residents are vaccinated in California.

Vaccination And Community Health  onditions (Vaccine Equity Metric)

This graph compares COVID-19 vaccinations among four different levels of community health.


It uses the Public Health Alliance of Southern California’s Healthy Places Index (HPI) measures in a zip code area that can impact health, like income, education, and access to health care. Areas are then given a score, ranging from least healthy community conditions (Quartile 1) to most healthy community conditions (Quartile 4). The Vaccine Equity Metric also creates scores for areas that don’t have an HPI score.


Data below show the progress of vaccination in each of the four quartiles.

Vaccination By Groups

The distribution of first vaccine doses by race and ethnicity, age, and gender is shown below. Providing this information is voluntary and not required for vaccination. 


Data shows the cumulative total administered.

Updated March 24, 2021 with data from March 23, 2021. Note: “Other” means those who don’t fall under any listed race or ethnicity. “Unknown” includes those who declined to state or whose race and ethnicity information is missing.

Thank You!