Seniors With Pre-Existing Health Conditions Are First of 65 and Up to Get Vaccine

Some Seniors 75 and older and seniors with pre-existing conditions begin getting vaccinated in San Diego as others 65 and up wait for increased supply

Paul Bersebach | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

Now that half a million people 65 and up in San Diego County are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine many are eager to do so.

At our age, at this point, we just feel trapped in our house," said Val, a 69-year-old San Diego resident.

But despite California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement on Wednesday, January 13, most are unable to get the vaccine yet, because there just simply aren't enough shots or volunteer healthcare workers to give them.

“We’re basically limited by supply,” said Dr. Marlene Millen M.D., Chief Information Officer for UC San Diego Health.

UC San Diego Heath is however, focusing on some patients ages 75 and up.

“The patients we notified were ones that had multiple medical conditions things like heart disease or lung disease or history of active cancer,” said Millen. “Those folks are at higher risk of the disease. So trying to get them in as quickly as possible was important to us.”

UC San Diego Health, like other healthcare providers, is asking people not to contact them.

They are notifying the patients who are next in line in the health systems online portal, by email, or by phone.

And they are also working to make sure patients getting home healthcare are not overlooked.

“We want to really be equitable in our distribution of the vaccine to our patients,” Millen said.

The super distribution site at Petco Park is not taking any seniors yet. The website to sign up for vaccinations now makes that very clear.

The county and healthcare providers say with a new administration starting next week in Washington D.C. they are confident there will be better communication about when the state can expect more vaccine and how much it will receive.

And while the vaccine isn't a cure, it can help people who are at higher risk for complications.

“People who do get COVID-19 when they’ve gotten the vaccine have far less severe illness,” Millen said.

This is why many seniors want it so they can get on with their lives. Lives that have been on hold for far too long.

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