It's the word many of Monterey County's residents over age 75 and their families have been waiting to hear for weeks: As of today, Jan. 25, the Health Department is opening up Phase 1b, Tier 1 to their age group to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
The announcement came with the caveat that there may not be enough vaccine in the county for vaccinations to happen right away. In "coming weeks" options for vaccinations could come at community-based clinics, in doctor's offices, at hospitals or in some pharmacies, according to a Health Department announcement.
The announcement states that "sufficient progress has been made vaccinating Phase 1a health care workers," giving the go-ahead to health care providers to offer the vaccine to anyone age 75 and up. Vaccinations will continue to be offered to health care workers in Phase 1a.
Unfortunately for anyone between the ages of 65 and 74, "extremely limited" supplies of vaccine mean the seniors in that group will have to continue to wait. This despite recent announcements by both the Centers for Disease Control and Gov. Gavin Newsom that those 65 and up should be eligible for the vaccine.
“After consulting with representatives from our local health care community and reviewing data provided by the (CDC), we believe that prioritizing people 75 years of age and older at this time will save the most lives,” Edward Moreno, Monterey County health officer and director of public health said in the county's press release.
The Health Department is asking "all Monterey County residents to remain patient. The department will continue to monitor progress vaccinating those 75 and older and hopes to extend vaccinations to those 65 and older as soon as possible."