Marin Hospitals, Clinics & Public Health Prepare for Vaccine Rollout’s Next Phase
Multiple options planned when next phase opens in late January
JOINT NEWS RELEASE – (for PDF Click here)
January 15, 2021
San Rafael, CA – Marin County’s network of health care providers and supportive agencies are working closely to prepare to transition to Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination framework later this month, offering vaccinations to frontline essential workers and those aged 65 and over.
Marin Public Health, MarinHealth, Kaiser Permanente, Novato Community Hospital, and Marin Community Clinics have committed to a coordinated strategy as the County moves from vaccinating only health care workers to covering the wider community. A variety of points of distribution (PODs) are being planned, and vaccination opportunities will be based on the individual’s health care provider or occupation. Options for accessing the vaccine across Marin will be announced when Phase 1B formally opens later this month.
Vaccination efforts are facing the combined challenges of a fragile vaccine (made of genetic material), associated logistical challenges, and limited supplies as they work to expand across the county. However, the partnership of medical providers remains committed to expedite the distribution in a safe and efficient way.
“Everyone in Marin will have their turn,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s Public Health Officer. “But with the expansion of this next phase to all residents aged 65 and older, more than one third of our population is in the current tier. Given the current supply of vaccine, it will take several weeks to get to the next phase. If healthy individuals over the age of 65 and others in this group can hold back a few weeks to allow the more vulnerable to be vaccinated first, we encourage them to do so.”
The vaccine is an important step toward achieving immunity for individuals, and for the county as a whole to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. However, it does not replace the need for continued mask wearing, physical distancing, and good hand hygiene. Health leaders want to remind everyone to continue practicing those measures in the weeks ahead.
Tackling Top Questions
With so many messages coming from the state and neighboring counties, understanding the vaccination status in Marin may be confusing. Marin County Public Health offers answers to some of the top questions received from Marin residents.
Where is the best local information about vaccinations? Everything a resident needs is on coronavirus.marinhhs.org/vaccine. It features distribution details, info for health care providers, facts vs. myths on vaccines, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Who can be vaccinated now? Currently only health care workers (defined as Phase 1A) are being vaccinated. Some medical providers have begun scheduling patients who are in Phase 1B, including those aged 65 and older, into vaccine appointments later this month. Remaining medical providers across the community will contact their patients who fall into Phase 1B groups once the phase officially opens and vaccine supply is available.
What are the phases of vaccine distribution? Phase 1A is happening now and is expected to run through next week, overlapping with the start of Phase 1B. Phase 1A is health care workers, which represents roughly 30,000 people in Marin.
Alternatively, phase 1B is separated into two tiers and covers the older adult community and front-line essential workers. Public Health estimates groups in Phase 1B represent more than 100,000 people in Marin.
Then will come Phase 1C, which includes people 50-64, people over age 16 with underlying health conditions or disabilities, and the employees who work in more moderate-risk services. That phase is expected to start in early March, depending on vaccine supply. Public Health estimates Phase 1C represents 70,000 Marin residents.
Anyone who would like to better understand how groups will be prioritized under the rollout process should check the distribution webpage.
How are those in Phase 1A being vaccinated? Marin County Public Health is working closely with partners at MarinHealth, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter, Marin County fire agencies, the Marin Medical Reserve Corps, CVS Pharmacy, and other community partners to provide vaccine in a variety of ways. Hospital staff and skilled nursing facility staff and residents are being vaccinated at their facilities.
All other health care workers have two primary options:
- if they are Phase 1A eligible and are covered under a Kaiser health plan, they can contact Kaiser for a vaccination appointment;
- if they are not covered by a Kaiser health plan, they can make an appointment to be vaccinated at a Marin County Public Health vaccination site. (See the County’s site in action).
How will I know when it’s my turn? Public Health and medical providers will offer regular updates on movement through the phases and tiers of vaccination. Another way to stay updated with vaccine progress in Marin is to subscribe to Marin Public Health’s daily status updates. They contain information on vaccine progress, announcements of when new vaccination phases open, and other relevant COVID-19 information.
Where are more answers about vaccinations? Start with Public Health’s frequently asked questions (FAQs) and then move to facts & myths. If your question is not answered there, email us and the Public Health staff will get back to you as soon as possible.
What’s the best way to receive updates? Public Health emails a COVID-19 update most evenings that includes the latest info on vaccinations. Thousands of people have registered to get it shipped directly to their inbox. Sign up through the Public Health website.
- Dr. Matthew Willis | PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER
Department of Health and Human Services
3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
415 473-4163 T
CRS Dial 711
- Laine Hendricks | PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
Marin County Emergency Operations Center & County Administrator’s Office
1600 Los Gamos Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
415 359 4508
CRS Dial 711