‘One step closer to herd immunity’: Riverside County opens vaccine eligibility to those 16 and older

Local news

COVID-19 vaccines are now getting into the arms of a younger population in Riverside County, nine days ahead of the state’s timeline.

On Tuesday those 16 and older became eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the four county-run clinics, county health officials reported. Teens ages 16 and 17 will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, but must be accompanied by a parent of legal guardian.

Those 18 and older will can receive the Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In March, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state would expand vaccine eligibility to those 16 and older on April 15.

“The expansion of eligibility will allow the last large group of Riverside County adult residents to get vaccinated, and bring us one step closer to herd immunity,” Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside University Health System-Public Health, said in a news release. “Bringing the vaccine to a younger population, where we have seen an increase in cases, is a big step forward.”

Early Tuesday, dozens of people were in line awaiting their turn to get inoculated at the Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley. Countywide, more than one million vaccinations – both first and second doses — have been administered to residents.

The county run clinics are located at Albert A. Chatigny Sr. Community Recreation Center in Beaumont, Heritage High School in Menifee, Tahquitz High School in Hemet and the Moreno Valley Mall. There are also clinics at six community health centers operated by Riverside University Health System that are allowing those 16 and older to be vaccinated.

To make an appointment for a vaccine, visit rivcoph.org/covid-19-vaccine. Anyone who needs help making an appointment can call 2-1-1.

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