People aged 65 and older and select essential workers can begin getting vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday in Riverside County.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that residents 65 and older will now be eligible to receive the vaccine, following new guidance from the federal government. The previous age requirement for tier 1 of Phase 1B was 75 years old.
Several free vaccine clinics are scheduled to get underway over the next week countywide as officials continue to work to speed up the rate of vaccinations in a quest to thwart the spread of the coronavirus.
"The county team is moving quickly to open more sites that will vaccinate even more of our residents," Supervisor Karen Spiegel said. "We know so many of our residents want the vaccine and we're working diligently to make that happen."
The scheduled clinics will continue to accommodate residents in Phase IA of the state's vaccine distribution plan, including health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
Residents in tier 1 of Phase 1B will also be allowed to get vaccinated: people aged 65 and over and select essential workers, such as those in education, child care, emergency services and food and agriculture.
Inoculation is free, but people will be asked to provide medical insurance information, although insurance is not required. People planning to get vaccinated must register in advance and bring the required paperwork to prove their eligibility.
The following clinics will open up on Thursday, and will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, with the exception of Martin Luther King Day on Monday:
-- Corona High School, 1150 W. 10th St.;
-- Heritage High School, 26001 Briggs Road, Menifee; and
-- San Gorgonio Middle School, 1591 Cherry Ave., Beaumont;
On Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore will be the site of a one-day drive-up vaccination clinic reserved for people aged 65 and older. The stadium is located at 500 Diamond Drive.
On Sunday, a one-day drive-up vaccine clinic will be held in Indio at the Riverside County Fairgrounds, 46350 Arabia St., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., although all online appointments appear to be full as of Thursday morning.
The clinics will be open to all permitted tiers. There are also other community partners offering vaccinations right now, including pharmacies inside Ralphs, Vons and Pavilions.
You can view who is eligible for a vaccine right now and all available vaccination locations by visiting www.ruhealth.org/covid-19-vaccine.
Seniors who need additional help making an appointment can call the Riverside County Office of Aging for assistance: (800) 510-2020.
(UPDATE 1/14/21 - Appointments are currently full and phone lines are busy. We will continue to check for updates on new appointments)