County will move to vaccine lottery system next week

— The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department has announced that San Luis Obispo County community members age 50 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in SLO County.

All eligible individuals can sign up for a chance to get the vaccine as early as next week through the county’s online Vaccine Appointment Registry or through local pharmacies and providers.

“More people can now get the safe and effective vaccines that will help us end this pandemic,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “Risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19 increases with age, and we are happy to begin vaccinating community members age 50 and older.”

The County Public Health Department has enough vaccine supply to administer 10,000 first doses this week and plans to have enough for at least 10,000 first doses next week as well. Other vaccine providers also have more vaccines and will open more appointments throughout the coming days and weeks.

“This vaccine is worth the wait and we’re pleased that so many doses have been administered in SLO County,” said Dr. Borenstein. “If you are eligible, get vaccinated as soon as you can to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our community.”

Nearly 110,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in SLO County to date, thanks to increased vaccine supply from the state, as well as federal supply to local pharmacies. The County Public Health Department has administered nearly 78,000 of those doses, and the rest have been administered by other vaccine providers. Last week, the County Public Health Department administered more than 9,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, following the March 10 expansion of vaccine eligibility to certain frontline workers and residents at high risk for severe illness or death.

On March 10, the county expanded eligibility to frontline workers in Education & Childcare, Food & Agriculture, and Emergency Services, as well as anyone 16 or older with certain high-risk medical conditions or disabilities. These groups remain eligible, but the county estimates that many have already received vaccines.

For assistance signing up for the county’s appointment registry, call the Phone Assistance Center at (805) 543–2444 or (805) 781–4280. For more questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in SLO County, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788–2903. A staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543–2444 is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with questions related to COVID-19.

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