See COVID-19 vaccine information for the general public
Through the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorizations, the first COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in the United States. COVID-19 vaccines are allocated to the County of Santa Clara by the State of California. The County’s Public Health Department will receive some of that vaccine directly and will also facilitate allocation of vaccine to specific healthcare facilities according to the prioritization requirements set by the federal and state government.
County planning and preparation includes partner and stakeholder engagement, vaccine provider education and enrollment, storage and handling capacity assessment, and other activities. The County has submitted to the state a required plan for vaccine management and community engagement.
In the first phase of vaccine roll out, County Public Health Department will organize appointment-based vaccination clinics to vaccinate skilled nursing facility personnel working in Santa Clara County. Hospitals and health clinics will receive their allocations directly and vaccinate their staff and other healthcare personnel, beginning with those at highest risk. Large retail pharmacies will be receiving additional supplies to vaccinate people who live in certain types of nursing homes, through a program organized by the federal government.
The Public Health Department is also planning for more widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines and for distribution to healthcare providers, who will vaccinate their patients and other communities members as they become eligible for vaccination.
See vaccine news and planning updates from County of Santa Clara.
Personnel prioritized for first COVID-19 vaccine doses: people at risk of getting COVID-19 because they work in direct healthcare or long-term care settings
If you work at a healthcare facility, you may be eligible to be vaccinated now or in the very near future. Many healthcare workers will be offered vaccination through their employer. Others may receive information from their employer or from the County Public Health Department about other healthcare facilities where they can be vaccinated.
The County of Santa Clara is in Phase 1a, Tiers 1 through 3 of the state of California’s prioritization tiers, offering vaccine to approved healthcare facilities for vaccination of specific healthcare personnel working in the following settings:
- Acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility hospitals
- Skilled nursing facilities , assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals
- Also, in concordance with ACIP, residents in these settings
- Paramedics, EMTs and others providing emergency medical services
- Dialysis centers
- Intermediate care facilities for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision and supportive care
- Home health care and in-home supportive services
- Community health workers, including promotoras
- Public health field staff
- Primary Care clinics, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics
Other settings and health care workers, including
- Specialty clinics
- Laboratory workers
- Dental and other oral health clinics
- Pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers
The initial amount of vaccine provided to the County remains limited. Read more about how many doses the County will receive.
Like other counties, the County of Santa Clara will follow the national and state systems directing the first vaccinations to specific types of facilities with personnel and patients at highest risk from COVID-19.
I’m a healthcare worker and I have been offered the vaccine. Why should I get vaccinated?
When you and other eligible personnel working in healthcare and long-term care facilities get the vaccine, it helps protect you, your patients, people you live with, and everyone in our community from COVID-19. You play a vital role in caring for some of our most vulnerable and medically fragile community members. Keeping you healthy and protected from COVID-19 means others will be kept safe as well.
The vaccine is safe and effective. The vaccine has already been tested in clinical trials with tens of thousands of volunteers. The U.S. federal government has rigorous scientific and regulatory processes in place to facilitate development and ensure the safety, effectiveness, and quality of COVID-19 vaccines.
You should be vaccinated even if you have had COVID-19 in the past. People who have been previously infected can be infected again. While data is limited, previously infected individuals may receive additional protection from getting vaccinated. However, while vaccine supply is limited, healthcare organizations may prioritize those employees for vaccination who have NOT had a previous infection in the prior 90 days.
What will it cost to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost, but they are only available to eligible individuals.
Partnerships with healthcare providers and other organizations are key component of the effort
The County is working with partners from healthcare and community organizations, as well as public officials and other groups. Specifically, the County is supporting healthcare organizations in assessing capacity to receive, store, handle, and administer vaccines in accordance with manufacturer requirements. The County is also working closely with healthcare partners to apportion doses of vaccine, according to directions from the state and federal government. Planning for vaccine distribution within the community will take a united effort from all. Part of our commitment is to share information with our partners and provide people with the information they need to make decisions about the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccine providers
The first vaccines available in the U.S. will come with logistics and distribution challenges. Some require ultra-cold storage.
The first vaccinators were identified by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department in close partnership with healthcare organizations at sites assessed to have the capacity to manage these complex logistical challenges. They will receive email invitations directly from the state of California to enroll in COVIDReadi.
The County continues to accept healthcare provider volunteers in a range of COVID-19 response functions, including vaccinators. To apply to volunteer, please go to the County Emergency Operations Center volunteer page.
Healthcare provider resources for managing COVID-19 vaccination
Information about COVID-19 vaccine for your patients
The County has a webpage on COVID-19 vaccine and planning for the general public.
Promote risk reduction
We must all continue to do our part to stay safe while we wait for vaccines to be widely available and for a sufficient portion of the population to be immunized. Many countries and states want access to vaccines, and, like everyone else, we will receive a limited supply at first, with more coming over time. It may take many months before everyone in the Bay Area who wants a vaccine has gotten one, which means we all need to continue to reduce our risk of COVID-19 by engaging in behaviors that protect ourselves and others like wearing face masks, keeping our distance, and not gathering.
Bring patients up to date on other vaccines
Every person aged 6 months and older needs the flu shot, every year. This is especially true this year.
In the Bay Area, as is the case across the state and the country, the percentage of children up to date on immunizations has fallen as parents delay routine visits to their pediatricians, which is a serious concern. The County Public Health Department regularly communicates with parents about keeping kids up to date, which is required for school attendance.
More information about COVID-19 vaccine from the state and federal government
State of California COVID-19 vaccine activities
U.S. federal government COVID-19 vaccine activities
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention