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Amidst Scarcity, Vaccination Rollout Changes Direction To Strictly Age-Based System

U.S. Secretary of Defense
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Vials of the COVID-19 vaccine are seen at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Every day, more and more Bay Area residents are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, but not without major challenges. For starters, the extremely limited supply is forcing officials to make tough decisions, like who to vaccinate first. Currently, the state guidelines are based soley on age. In this interview, we dig into the vaccine rollout.

We cannot compare a 65 and up that lives in La Jolla to a 65 that lives in Imperial County where we're completely overburdened from air quality, our lungs are not growing the same, and so we are dying on a daily basis. - Ester Bejarano, Community Health Worker from Imperial County

For more information on California's vaccination allocation guidlines, visit this CDPH website.

A number of counties now have vaccination tracker dashboards that show how many vaccine doses have been given out, among other statistics:

One thing to note is that some vaccinations are happening at workplaces, as is case with many health care workers, so some people aren't getting vaccinated in their own counties. Also, you don't need to be a member of a regional health system like Kaiser and Sutter to sign up for a vaccine there, since these systems span many counties. 

Many counties are also putting sign-ups for vaccine notifications online. Check your local health department website for more information. The state is also planning to release their own sign-up and notification system mid-February. You can check out the pilot version of the website here.

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.