SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California has just changed its tier system to speed COVID-19 vaccinations for older people.
The first tier of Phase One included people in nursing homes and front-line workers.
Tier 1B has been expanded to include people age 65 and older, plus those who work in education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture.
Fred Buzo, associate state director for AARP California, commended the state for prioritizing older adults.
“Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 95% of the deaths from COVID-19 have been among people who were 50 and over,” Buzo confirmed.
The state issues guidelines on each tier, but each county decides how to allocate them depending on the amount of vaccine they’ve received and the need in that area.
People should check with their own health-care provider and county to determine when they will be eligible to receive a vaccination.
Buzo noted AARP’s website now features a California Vaccine Distribution Guide. It’s an online hub for COVID information, and a series of tele-town halls about the virus.
“Things are changing so quickly, so we are updating it very quickly,” Buzo explained. “So, you need to check back frequently.”
He added people should be on the lookout for vaccine-related scams.
In Santa Clara County, for example, Buzo indicated quite a few people have received fraudulent text messages telling them appointments are available “due to an excess of vaccine,” when that is not the case.