California’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to Expand in April

The Newsom Administration on Thursday announced the state will begin expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to additional populations in April amid increased vaccine supplies. Beginning April 1, individuals age 50 and over will be eligible to make an appointment. Beginning April 15, individuals age 16 and over will become eligible.

Based on current estimates, the Newsom Administration expects to be allocated approximately 2.5 million first and second doses per week in the first half of April, increasing to more than three million doses in the second half of April. Currently, California receives approximately 1.8 million doses per week. The Newsom Administration indicates the state has capacity to administer more than three million vaccines per week and anticipates having the capacity to administer four million vaccines weekly by the end of April.

In addition to expanded eligibility pursuant to the Biden-Harris Administration’s recent directive to make all adults eligible for a vaccine by May 1, the Newsom Administration indicated the state will update its vaccine allocation methodology. Over four weeks, beginning with the March 22 allocation, the state’s allocation methodology will shift from one based on the distribution of the 65 and older population and workers in specified occupations to one based on the distribution of the 16 and older population across California. This shift will be carried out in conjunction with completion of the shift to the state directly allocating vaccines to providers.

Additional information from the Governor’s Office is available here. A provider bulletin reflecting the upcoming changes is available here. Updated vaccine eligibility guidelines are available here.