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:


Who Can Get Vaccinated NOW

As of 02/27/21, the County of San Diego is only vaccinating people who live or work in San Diego County AND are in Phase 1A or Phase 1B (includes persons age 65 and older). 

Phase 1A-Tier 1        Vaccinating NOW*

  • Staff working in acute care, psychiatric, and correctional facility hospitals+
  • Staff working in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings
    • Also 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
    • Also includes residents in these behavioral health residential facilities
  • Vaccinators

Phase 1A-Tier 2        Vaccinating NOW*

  • 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
    • Also includes residents in these behavioral health non-residential or outpatient facilities

  Phase 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 NOW*

  • Persons aged 75 years and older
  • Persons 65-74 years of age
  • Frontline essential workers at risk of exposure through their work in the following sectors: Emergency Services (including emergency operations workers, fire and law enforcement); Childcare and Education; and  Food and Agriculture.

  Phase 1C*

  • Persons 16-64 years old with one or more of the following health conditions: 
    • Cancer, current with debilitated or immunocompromised state
    • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
    • Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen dependent
    • Down syndrome
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
    • Pregnancy
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (excludes hypertension)
    • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%


  • If as a result of a developmental or other severe high-risk disability one or more of the following applies:
    • The individual is likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection
    • Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual’s ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival
    • Providing adequate and timely COVID-19 care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual’s disability

  Phase 2*

  • General population over 16 years of age

*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.