race for a vaccine

Contra Costa County Opens Vaccine Eligibility to 16 and Older

Mass vaccination site opens in the parking lot of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Concord

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Contra Costa County health officials on Tuesday officially opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all people 16 and older who live and work in the county, just days after they expanded to 50 and older.

On Wednesday, the county opened a mass vaccination site in the parking lot of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Concord to help keep up with an anticipated spike in demand.

Contra Costa County Health Director Anna Roth announced to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that an increased vaccine supply from the state and federal governments was enough to open eligibility to people in the 16-49 age range, according to a county news release.

"I’m really glad it’s my county to be opening it up and I feel really lucky to be one of the first kids my age to be getting it in the surrounding counties," said 16-year-old Ella Bergstrom.

Contra Costa County became the first county in the Bay Area to encourage everyone 16 years of age or older to get a COVID-19 vaccine. This decision comes as the county reports it has enough doses to vaccinate more people. Jodi Hernandez reports.

The county says thanks to shipments from the federal government they have plenty of doses on hand and the means to administer them. They’ve opened up a drive through vaccination site at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Concord, and will add walk-in clinics in Richmond and Bay Point starting next week.

The expansion makes another 375,000 county residents eligible to get their shots, officials said.

County health officials just last week announced people age 50 and older could get the COVID-19 vaccine this week, as there are thousands of appointments for the shots available. They say there is no shortage of vaccine in the county.

"We have thousands of appointments available this week, so we encourage you to get online or call us and make an appointment," Supervisor John Gioia said.

One Bay Area county is on the verge of opening up vaccine eligibility early, claiming it has more than enough supply. So why are some counties able to while others are struggling to find shots? Ian Cull reports.

Appointments can be made online by visiting the county health website or by calling 833-829-2626.

County Health Services said it anticipates a sharp rise in appointment requests, and long delays are likely on the appointment request phone line. Anyone who is able to book online is encouraged to do so instead of phoning as it will save time.

The county was expected to make a decision on the 16-and-older tier by Thursday but made it official Tuesday.

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