Riverside County expands COVID-19 vaccine access to residents 65 and older

Lila Seidman
·1 min read
Nurse Susan Eyman administers the Moderna vaccine to Robert Nelson in the parking lot of the Riverside Convention Center
Robert Nelson, 81, of Riverside, left, gets a COVID-19 vaccine shot from nurse Susan Eyman in the parking lot of the Riverside Convention Center on Feb. 1. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Riverside County residents who are 65 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a county-run clinic, officials announced Monday.

As of Sunday, the age cutoff was 70, which was a bump from last week, when 80-year-olds were able to schedule appointments at county-run clinics, said Brooke Federico, a spokeswoman for Riverside County.

"These changes were made based on available appointments remaining for this week’s appointments," Federico said in an email, adding that there were 10,000 appointments left.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in mid-January that those 65 and older could receive the vaccine. However, scarcity of shots in many municipalities meant that not everyone eligible for a dose would be able to immediately receive one. About a week later, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis issued an executive order requiring county health officials to open appointments to residents in that age group days later.

Typically, Riverside County receives 23,000 to 25,000 doses weekly. But last week, the county received an extra shipment of more than 20,000 doses, Federico said. Next week, it is expecting the same additional shipment.

"The county and providers will administer this entire amount within one week to eligible residents," she said.

County clinics are prioritizing seniors, she said. Private providers may vaccinate anyone who falls into one of the open tiers on the state's vaccination schedule.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.