Breaking News

Riverside County opens coronavirus vaccinations to residents 16 and older

Starting Tuesday, April 6, Riverside County will offer coronavirus vaccines to residents 16 and older, nine days before the state planned to do so, officials announced Monday.

“The expansion of eligibility will allow the last large group of Riverside County adult residents to get vaccinated, and bring us one step closer to herd immunity,” county Director of Public Health Kim Saruwatari said in a news release. “Bringing the vaccine to a younger population, where we have seen an increase in cases, is a big step forward.”

In the same release, Supervisor Karen Spiegel said: “More vaccine is available now, and opening eligibility will move us even further towards our goal of vaccinating the majority of our residents.”

Sixteen and 17-year-olds, who are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to their vaccine appointment, the news release read. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available to those 18 and older.

In late March, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that those 16 and older will be able to get vaccinated statewide starting April 15. Californians 50 and older became eligible April 1, and Riverside County allows those in certain occupations — grocery store workers and teachers, for example — to get vaccinated, in addition to people 16 and older with underlying health conditions like cancer or severe obesity that make them especially vulnerable to severe illness or death from COVID-19.

Riverside County currently operates four vaccine clinics, which are located in the Albert A. Chatigny S. Community Recreation Center in Beaumont; Tahquitz High School in Hemet, Heritage High School in Menifee and the Moreno Valley Mall. The county also provides the vaccine at six community health centers run by its Riverside University Health System.

More than 1 million vaccine doses have already been administered in the county, which gave its one millionth shot last Wednesday. As of Monday, 31.8% of county residents 16 and older have been partially or fully vaccinated, with 17.4% fully vaccinated, according to Riverside University Health System – Public Health.

To get a vaccine appointment, visit www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. Those 65 and older or needing help booking an appointment can call 211 or 951-329-4703. Current 211 wait times are under 5 minutes, according to the county.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *