All Californians 16 years and older became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine shot Thursday morning.
Appointments can be made by going to the state’s My Turn website and booking online. Appointments can also be made by phone at 833-422-4255.
Residents 16 years and older in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Imperial counties were already allowed to to sign up for vaccine appointments prior to Thursday.
Those ages 16 and up in Orange and Ventura counties were not eligible but can now book appointments through My Turn.
Nearly half of all residents 16 and older had already received at least one vaccine dose by April 15, including nearly 74% of those aged 65 and older, according to state officials.
“Today’s vaccine eligibility expansion is a major milestone in our state’s fight against the pandemic and another step on the path to reopening fully in the coming months,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.
The My Turn appointment system has been updated and can handle up to 300,000 transactions per hour, officials told the Los Angeles Times.
The city of Los Angeles has its own vaccine appointment system, which is independent from My Turn and can be accessed on carbonhealth.com.
“California will need all hands on deck to keep up this progress, and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Newsom said. “Vaccinating all of those who are eligible will take time, but our statewide providers are ready to meet the increased demand and we are excited to get this vaccine into the arms of all Californians who want them, especially those in the hardest hit communities.”
Only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those who are 16 and 17 years old. People in that age group will need to look for a site that is administering that specific vaccine.
All vaccines are free to anyone living in the U.S.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are currently the only ones being offered to adults in L.A. County due to a recommended pause of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
The pause will remain in place until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration look into reports of unusual blood clots, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a virtual briefing Wednesday.
The CDC and FDA announced Tuesday that they were looking into unusual clots in six women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person died.
California officials are optimistic that the pause on Johnson and Johnson vaccines will not hurt the state’s vaccination efforts.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday the Johnson & Johnson vaccine accounts for only 4% of the state’s current supply.
Newsom is targeting June 15 for counties to be able to drop the tier system and completely reopen, but that is dependent on vaccine supplies and maintaining low hospitalization rates.
Overall, L.A. County is continuing its downward trend of COVID-19 case, hospitalization and death rates, but a move to the less restrictive yellow tier is not likely until early May, Ferrer said.