COVID-19 Vaccines are here. Who can get them?

By Edward Landeros | Jan. 16, 2020 12:48 p.m.

Hands with blue gloves on holding a syringe and a vaccine bottle. behind the hands is a person holding up a sign that reads "COVID19."
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

SAN JACINTO, Calif. – Riverside County continues its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines this weekend at multiple locations and expands its list of eligible recipients.

Vaccine Planning and Distribution

On Jan. 7, Riverside County began its Type III All-Hazard Incident Management Team (IMT) in order to distribute vaccinations for more than two million county residents. It was officially activated on Jan. 12 and consists of representatives from the Riverside University Health System – Public Health, the Riverside County Executive Office and Emergency Management Department as well as the fire departments of Cal Fire/Riverside County, Morongo, and Corona.

According to a news release posted on Jan. 13 from the Riverside University Health System – Public Health (RU Health), The IMT “will work seven days a week to secure locations and stand up large, regional Point-of-Dispensing (POD) sites that can vaccinate thousands of residents each day.”

The county is in the process of planning more PODs while they are awaiting approval of locations, staffing, and vaccine stock. The locations will be announced once the plans are finalized.

Who can receive the vaccine right now

The list of current residents who qualify for the vaccine fall under Phase 1A and Phase 1B – Tier 1 of RU Health’s vaccination distribution plan:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • Employees in:
    • Acute Care
    • Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities (medically vulnerable individuals)
    • Fires Responders (paramedic/EMTs)
    • Correctional Hospitals
    • Behavioral Health (psychiatric)
    • Dialysis Centers (staff)
    • Pharmacist & Pharmacy Staff
    • Intermediate Care Facilities
    • Education
    • Law Enforcement
    • Home Health and IHSS
    • Public Health (field)/DPSS
    • Community Health WOrkers
    • Primary Care & Community Clinics
    • Urgent Cares (stand-alone)
    • Specialty Clinics
    • Laboratory Workers
    • Dental/Oral Health Clinics
    • Mortuary Services Industries
    • Food and Agriculture
    • Emergency Services

Those 65 and older will be required to make an appointment and provide identification to verify their age while employees in the listed fields will be required to make an appointment and provide employee ID in the form of a badge or a letter from the place of employment.

What about the rest of us?

It will still be a little while before everyone can receive the vaccine. There are still 5 more tiers planned with the county that includes essential workers, homeless and incarcerated persons, people 50-64 years of age, and people 16-50 years of age who have underlying health conditions or increased risk to COVID-19. The phases from RU Health’s website can be viewed below:

Riverside County’s vaccination plan as of Jan. 13, 2021. Source:

“Early on there will only be enough vaccine to give to people who work in the highest risk jobs like hospital workers and those who live or work in high risk places like nursing homes,” says RU Health. “More and more vaccine is being made every day and the goal is to have enough for everyone who wants to be vaccinated. It may take into spring and summer of 2021 to vaccinate everyone who wants it.”

Currently the county is abiding to State and Federal guidelines for vaccine distribution sites and planning.

For more information on the vaccine, eligibility, and POD locations, visit