A Shot in the Arm

As of March 15, Monterey County had received more than 121,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine, with more than 87,000 doses administered. Twenty-two percent of residents age 16 or older have received at least one dose, according to the Health Department.

It’s a toss-up between a waiting game and a guessing game for Covid-19 vaccinations in Monterey County. With limited vaccine doses flowing in from the state and federal governments, residents are left waiting for their turn. Once it is their turn, it can be a bit of a guessing game trying to figure out the how and where of finding a vaccination clinic.

UPDATE: The delivery of vaccines has dramatically increased because of the Biden Administration's efforts to increase vaccine production and deliveries to states. It has also implemented federal programs to send vaccines to pharmacies and into communities hardest hit by the virus. The state of California has focused on sending more vaccines to agricultural counties and those counties with large numbers of vulnerable populations.

Monterey County previously was receiving lower amounts than other counties but the situation has improved.

The Weekly compiled this guide to make things a little easier for anyone interested in receiving a Covid-19 vaccination. Save this guide for future use and pay attention for updates as the vaccination situation unfolds. As we’ve learned in this pandemic, change comes often.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR A VACCINATION?

As of April 1 in Monterey County, the following people are eligible under guidelines set by the California Department of Public Health and the Monterey County Health Department:

  • Health care workers
  • Residents age 50 and above, regardless of where they live or work
  • Those at risk for occupational exposure in agriculture, food, childcare, education and emergency services regardless of age.
  • People between the ages of 16-64 with certain medical conditions or disabilities
  • People who live and work in congregant residential settings, such as homeless shelters, regardless of age
  • Public transit and airport employees of all ages

Anyone age 16 and above will be eligible on April 15. Securing an appointment may take time. 

Visit myturn.ca.gov for more information from the state.

HOW DO I MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?

Many clinics throughout the county are now offering the vaccine to patients. If you regularly visit a specific clinic, try contacting there first. A range of pharmacies are now offering vaccines. The list below includes links and phone numbers.

More sites will become available as additional vaccines arrive in the county. Pay attention to news updates, as occasionally pop-up clinics will be announced. For example, the Monterey Fire Department recently received approval to administer vaccines to the community.

DO I NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT IN ADVANCE?

Yes. Currently, there is no agency, pharmacy or clinic that will take walk-ins without an appointment.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE COMPUTER ACCESS?

The 211 service by United Way Monterey County is helping people with no computer access or skills to sign up over the phone. Dial 211, and follow instructions for accessing the vaccination help desk. A representative will do the registration process for you. This service is only for those who truly cannot sign up on their own via the internet.

The representatives at 211 are using the county’s vaccine registration website. If appointments are full, you will be told to call back another day.

WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?

  • Monterey County Covid-19 call center: call 831-769-8700, or email covid19@co.monterey.ca.us
  • United Way: call 211
  • For seniors, call the Alliance on Aging: English, 831-646-4931; Spanish, 831-646-5043
  • For veterans, call the Monterey County Military and Veterans Affairs Office: 831-647-7613

WILL THE VACCINATION COST ME ANYTHING?

The vaccine itself is provided at no cost to recipients, paid for by taxpayers through the federal government.

The agency, physician or pharmacy administering the vaccine may charge an administration fee, which in turn may be covered by health insurance. For uninsured patients, whoever is giving your vaccine can get the fee reimbursed through a federal fund.

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO MY APPOINTMENT?

Proof of age and in some cases, like health care workers, proof of profession. Proof of profession could include things like an ID badge or pay stub combined with a photo ID. Documents showing residency are not required. If you have insurance, Medi-Cal or Medicare bring that information too, just in case.

Documents accepted to prove age (bring one):

  • Driver’s license
  • California ID card or REAL ID card
  • Social Security card
  • Military ID
  • Passport

WHAT ABOUT A SECOND DOSE?

You should be able to schedule your second dose at the time of your first-dose appointment. If you can’t keep the second appointment, call the agency that administered the vaccine as soon as possible to reschedule.

A second dose is required for two of the three vaccines currently approved, those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose only to be effective.

¿DONDE PUEDO ENCONTRAR INFORMACIÓN EN ESPAÑOL?

  • El condado de Monterey tiene información en inglés y español: mcvaccinate.com
  • O llame al: 831-769-8700
  • *Nota: Para cambiar el lenguaje en la página de internet del condado de Monterey. Vaya a la parte superior derecha de la página. Dele click a “Select language.” Seleccione “Spanish” y verá el contenido en español.

WHERE ARE THE VACCINATION CLINICS?

For a complete list of clinics and vaccination sites, visit bit.ly/MCWeeklyVaccineGuide. Scroll down to the bottom for a list of locations provided by the Monterey County Health Department.

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