COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

Vaccination is one of the most important tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

The County of San Diego is following federal and state guidelines and working with several community partners to provide vaccinations to the public.

You are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination if you are 12 years of age or older.

For more information on California's vaccination plan, click here.


COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccine Brand Age Requirement Doses Needed Recommended 2nd Dose Timeline
Pfizer-BioNTech 12 years and older 2 21 days after the first dose
Moderna 18 years and older 2 28 days after the first dose
Janssen/Johnson & Johnson* 18 years and older 1 N/A

For Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends receiving the second dose of the series within 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. If you cannot get vaccinated within that exact timeframe, you do not need to restart the series.

Currently, the CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional third dose based on the criteria below:

  • Receiving active cancer treatment 
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress their immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, WiskottAldrich syndrome) 
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection 
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosterioids or other drugs that suppress their immune response

If you meet the criteria outlined by the CDC, it is recommended you get a 3rd dose, i.e., "booster," or an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine at least 28 days after your 2nd dose of vaccine. When possible, you should receive the same vaccine. For example, if you got a series of Pfizer vaccine, try to get a Pfizer vaccine for your 3rd dose. Talk to your doctor about the need to get a 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the best timing of a 3rd dose. 

More information regarding boosters for every one, who is already fully vaccinated, will be available soon.

*The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC have recommended use of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine resume in the United States, after a temporary pause on 04/13/2021. Individuals getting the J&J COVID-19 vaccine will be asked to review the latest guidance prior to being vaccinated.

View Fact Sheet: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Benefits and Risks (CDPH) - English 

View Fact Sheet: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Benefits and Risks (CDPH) - Spanish



COVID-19 Vaccination Phases

✓ Phase 1A -  as of December 14, 2020

  • Staff working in acute care, psychiatric, and correctional facility hospitals1
  • 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 workers2, 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:
    • Emergency Services (includes emergency operations and disaster service workers, fire, law enforcement, social workers, and utility workers)
    • Childcare and Education
    • Food and  Agriculture


Additional Groups - as of February 27, 2021

  • Janitors


✓ Phase 1C - as of March 15, 2021

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 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 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 - as of April 15, 2021
  • U.S. citizens living in Baja California - as of May 6, 2021
  • General population 12 years of age and olderas of May 13, 2021


Distribution was 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.

**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.

1No correctional facility hospitals exist within San Diego County.

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