Effective immediately, all individuals 16 years old and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Kern County, Kern County Public Health announced Monday morning.
“Late last week, the State sent out an email indicating that counties can relax the State’s eligibility criteria in advance of the April 15 Statewide movement to all individuals 16 and older being eligible for the vaccine,” the department said in a statement.
Health officials say Kern’s vaccine supply is increasing and anticipate to receive more than 39,000 doses of vaccine this week.
As of Sunday, 316,312 doses have been administered to Kern County residents and 12.7 percent of Kern’s population have completed their vaccination series, including 12,883 who were vaccinated with J&J.
Another 92,582 people have received one dose of their two-dose series. Approximately 46 percent of Kern’s 65 and older population is now fully vaccinated.
“Because we have seen a slowing of vaccine appointments and residents have voiced confusion about the eligibility criteria, the third party administrator has opened the eligibility criteria in Kern,” KPHD said in a statement. “Most of our population is already eligible, so this action only opens it up in the remaining six Kern County zip codes for individuals who do not qualify under existing criteria, but, more importantly, simplifies who is eligible countywide.”
MyTurn has been updated to allow those age 16 and older to schedule appointments now by visiting MyTurn.ca.gov or by calling the Public Health Call Center at 661-321-3000. Staff are ready to assist the community to make vaccination appointments and answer questions.
The Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Clinic has open appointments this week from Wednesday through Sunday. At this ADA compliant clinic, vaccines are free, and no ID is required.
Public Health urges residents to continue to stay safe, practice healthy habits and to get vaccinated when it’s your turn.
Public Health said in a statement, “Together we will end this pandemic, and we thank our residents for all you have done to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Kern County.”
Featured photo by Henry A. Barrios for Kern Sol News