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 is being 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:


Who Can Get Vaccinated NOW

The County of San Diego is only vaccinating people who live or work in San Diego County AND are part of one of the following groups:

✓ Phase 1A* -  as of December 14, 2020

  • Staff working in acute care, psychiatric, and correctional facility hospitals+
  • Staff working in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings
    • Includes residents in these long-term care settings
  • Paramedics, EMTs, and other staff providing emergency medical services
  • Staff working in dialysis centers
  • Staff working in behavioral health residential facilities
    • Includes residents in these behavioral health residential facilities
  • Vaccinators
  • Staff providing intermediate care, for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision, and supportive care
  • Staff providing in home health-care and in-home supportive services
  • Community health workers, including promotores
  • Public Health field staff
  • Staff working in primary care clinics
  • Staff working in Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Staff working in Rural Health Centers
  • Staff working in correctional facility clinics
  • Staff working in urgent care clinics
  • Staff working in behavioral health non-residential or outpatient facilities
    • Includes residents in these behavioral health non-residential or outpatient facilities
  • Other settings and healthcare personnel, including:
    • Specialty clinics, laboratory workers + +, dental/oral health clinics, pharmacy staff, and funeral workers, massage therapists, and others.
  • Couriers for vaccines and emergency supplies.


✓ Phase 1B* 

  • Persons aged 75 years and older - as of January 18, 2021
  • Persons 65-74 years of age - as of January 23, 2021
  • Persons at risk of occupational exposure through their work in the following sectors - as of February 27, 2021:


Additional Eligible Groups - as of February 27, 2021

  • Janitors

✓ Phase 1C* - as of March 15, 2021

Eligible High-Risk Medical Conditions and Disabilities

People ages 16-64 deemed to be at the very highest risk to get very sick from COVID-19

EITHER because they have one or more of the following health conditions:

  • Cancer, current with weakened immune system­­
  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Solid organ transplant, leading to a weakened immune system
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (but not hypertension)
  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%

OR if, as a result of a developmental or other significant, high-risk disability, one or more of the following criteria applies**:

  • A COVID-19 infection is likely to result in severe life-threatening illness or death; OR
  • Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual’s ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival; OR
  • Providing adequate and timely COVID care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual’s disability.


Additional Eligible Medical Conditions

Based on what we know at this time, those with the following conditions might be at an increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19; therefore they are also eligible for COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
  • Obese (BMI > 30 kg/m2, but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus


Additional Eligible Groups

  • Congregate residential settings, such as an incarceratio­n/detention facilities, homeless shelters, or behavioral health facilities
    • Includes people experiencing homelessness, who may transition into congregate settings at short notice­­­
  • Public transit workers, including airport workers for commercial airlines (but not private airplanes)


Phase 2* 

  • General population 50 years of age and older - as of April 1, 2021
  • General population 16 years of age and older - beginning April 15, 2021

*Based upon phases determined by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and tiers approved by CDPH. Subject to change pending vaccine supply and local recommendations.

+No correctional facility hospitals exist within San Diego County.

++Laboratory workers must either work in a CLIA licensed laboratory or be conducting research with SARS-CoV-2.

**Examples include: all enrolled consumers of Regional Centers, Independent Living Centers, In Home Supportive Services, Community Based Adult Services/Adult Day Health Centers, Medi-Cal HIV/AIDS Waiver, Medi-Cal Home and Community-Based Alternatives Waiver, Medi-Cal Assisted Living Waiver, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, California Children’s Services Program (if the child is 16-21 years old), and California Genetically Handicapped Persons Program.