COVID-19 Vaccine Phases  

The County of San Diego is following federal and state guidelines for priority groups. The County is also working with the community to make sure the vaccine is distributed equitably. The County's COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Advisory Group will provide additional regional guidance based on federal and state guidance.

Distribution of COVID-19 vaccine will be done in phases. These phases are broadly determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) based on their work and taking into account phases per the National Academies of Sciences. The ACIP advises the CDC on vaccine recommendations. 

Since the phases are broad and vaccines allocations are limited, more detailed Tiers are determined by California's Drafting Guidelines Workgroup, which are then shared with the State's Community Vaccine Advisory Committee. This State committee has representation from over 70 organizations and meetings are livestreamed for anyone to watch. 

For more information about how the phases are being implemented in California, click here.

See also:


The following information was last updated 01/13/21:

  Phase 1A*


1A-Tier 1 Vaccinating NOW

  • Acute care, psychiatric, and correctional facility hospitals+
  • Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals 
    • Include residents in these settings as recommended for Phase 1A by ACIP
  • Paramedics, EMTs, and others providing emergency medical services
  • Dialysis centers
  • Behavioral health residential facilities

  1A-Tier 2 Vaccinating NOW

  • Intermediate care, for persons who need non‐continuous nursing supervision, and supportive care
  • Home healthcare and in‐home supportive services
  • Community health workers, including promotoras
  • Public health field staff
  • Primary care clinics, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics
  • Behavioral health non-residential or outpatient facilities

  1A-Tier 3 Vaccinating NOW

Other settings and healthcare personnel not identified in Phase 1A-Tier 1 or Phase 1A-Tier 2, including:

  • Specialty clinics, laboratory workers, dental/oral health clinics, pharmacy staff, and funeral workers and others

  Phase 1B**                              Vaccinating NEXT

  • 1B-Tier 1: 
    • Persons aged 65 years and older
    • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: Education & Childcare; Emergency Services; and Food & Agriculture
  • 1B-Tier 2: 
    • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: Transportation Systems and logistics; Industrial, Commercial, Residential, and Sheltering Facilities and Services; Critical Manufacturing
    • Congregate settings with outbreak risk (includes incarcerated and persons experiencing homelessness)

  Phase 1C**

  • Persons 50-64 years of age
  • Persons 16-49 years of age who have an underlying health condition or disability which increases their risk of severe COVID-19
  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors: Water and Wastewater; Defense; Energy; Chemical and Hazardous Materials; Communications and IT; Financial Services; Government Operations/Community-based Essential Functions

  Phase 2**

  • General population over 16 years of age

*Determined by CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and approved by California Department of Public Health.

**Subject to change.

+No correctional facility hospitals exist within San Diego County.