How Do San Diego Seniors And Caregivers Get Vaccinated?

The county’s vaccination dashboard says that fifteen percent of San Diego County residents over age 16 have been fully vaccinated as of this week. As vaccines continue to ship, supercenters continue to open, and tiers of eligibility continue to expand, San Diegans are thinking about their own turn. Currently, county residents in Phase 1A, Tiers 1-3 are eligible, along with anyone over age 65. California announced on February 2nd that formal and informal caregivers to the elderly in home care and people with disabilities are now part of the eligible group. The question on the minds of many caregivers who provide in home care in San Diego is what to do next? Seniors, families, and caregivers in San Diego need to know how and where they can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s no secret that the vaccine supply is smaller than the number of people who would love to get it in San Diego and around the country. The New York Times reported this week that “Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser for Covid-19, said Thursday that most members of the general public could become eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as April.” In the meantime, eligible residents who are not receiving the vaccine at work because they’re essential, frontline workers need to make an appointment.

If you’re over 65, or provide home care in San Diego, there are a couple of ways to make an appointment to get vaccinated. The County of San Diego’s Coronavirus Disease website advises:

  • “If you have a healthcare provider or are enrolled with a local healthcare system, please wait to be notified by them. If you do not have a doctor or other healthcare provider, call 2-1-1 to be connected with one.
  • For those unable to get a vaccination from a healthcare provider, the County of San Diego and its partners are offering vaccinations to individuals in eligible priority groups. Appointments and proof of eligibility are required at all sites. Space is limited and appointments are updated regularly. See Vaccination Locations and Vaccination Schedule below for more details.”

Follow this link to find a map of all county vaccination sites. Choose the site you prefer and make an appointment for that site. New sites continue to become available, including a supercenter at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Friday February 12th, and some CVS locations. You will need to bring proof of your eligibility to your appointment. According to the County website, “at the time of your appointment, you must present photo ID/documentation that establishes you meet the eligibility requirements listed above to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Persons aged 65 years old and above should bring a Driver’s license or government-issued photo ID with your date of birth, such as a passport.”

And how do family or informal caregivers document their status? According to The California Health Alert Network in an alert dated February 2, 2021: “Informal caregivers are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an unpaid family member or other person who regularly aids and supervises the daily care of an elderly or disabled person, but need not live in the same house. As informal caregivers are a broad category, the County permits the following forms of documentation at County and County-partnered vaccination sites to allow for reasonable levels of proof by the simplest method and recommend other providers use the same criteria. This documentation includes:

  • Letter from the San Diego Regional Center for caregivers of their clients.
  • Letter from the provider of the person receiving care stating that the caregiver is an informal caregiver.
  • Some individuals may still attempt to be recognized as informal caregivers without documentation and there may be some inconsistency at vaccination locations in whether they are offered a vaccine.”

Caregivers should read the full alert for more detail on how to obtain the appropriate documentation.

The vaccine situation will continue to evolve as supplies increase and more vaccine sites open. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible yet, or when you might qualify, sign up with the state for notifications about your specific eligibility: https://myturn.ca.gov/. Or call the state’s hotline at 1-833-422-4255.