CSA News

Update on COVID-19 Vaccinations in California

By CSA - | Jan 07, 2021
Rollout continues across California of the COVID-19 vaccines, which are being distributed in accordance with the CDPH Allocation Guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccine During Phase 1A: Recommendations. Because the amount of vaccine available is expected to be insufficient for the number of people in prioritized populations during Phase 1-A, the guidelines recommend that local health departments sub-prioritize the doses allocated to them as needed to match the level of available supplies.

Rollout continues across California of the COVID-19 vaccines, which are being distributed in accordance with the CDPH Allocation Guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccine During Phase 1A: Recommendations. Because the amount of vaccine available is expected to be insufficient for the number of people in prioritized populations during Phase 1-A, the guidelines recommend that local health departments sub-prioritize the doses allocated to them as needed to match the level of available supplies.

CSA encourages all its members to be vaccinated as soon as they are able. At the same time, we have heard reports that some anesthesiologists unaffiliated with a hospital in some counties may be having difficulty obtaining the vaccine for COVID-19.

The recommended categories for sub-prioritization are: (1) type of facility or role, which is divided into three tiers; (2) location of the facility; and (3) attributes of the individuals.  Most healthcare personnel in non-acute care hospital facility settings are currently part of Phase 3 of the vaccine distribution plan under "other clinics." 

CSA sent a letter, co-signed with the California Ambulatory Surgery Association, to the Governor and the CDPH Community Vaccine Advisory Committee encouraging the prioritization of physician anesthesiologists working in non-hospital based settings.

At this point, CSA members who have not been included in vaccine allocation through their worksite(s) should contact your local county department of public health to obtain more information about vaccine distribution in your local community and to sign up to receive a vaccine. Contact info for local county health departments can be found here.

Availability and access is being handled at a local level – for example the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is now offering appointments for vaccines to healthcare workers at high and medium risk who work in these settings:

  • Acute Psychiatric Hospitals

  • Federally Qualified Health Clinics

  • Home healthcare organizations and home health agencies (in-home supportive service personnel)

  • Intermediate Care Facilities

  • Infusion/Oncology Centers

  • Residential and Inpatient Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment

  • Residential and Inpatient Mental Health Facilities

  • Urgent Care Clinics

  • Primary care clinics, rural health centers, and correctional facility clinics

  • Outpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, mental health facilities, and crisis stabilization units

Additionally, Kaiser Permanente Southern California is set to open vaccinations to all its healthcare workers:

“By January 9, all service areas will have begun offering vaccination opportunities to members and non-members who serve as health care personnel in our communities. Members and non-members who are health care workers but not employed by KP can call the KP Appointment Line at 1-833-KP4-CARE to make an appointment at the medical center nearest them. Currently, call center wait times are high. However, a COVID-19 Vaccination E-Visit is expected to go live in mid-January to help streamline the vaccination process and reduce pressure on the VMC.”

Erica Pan, MD, MPH, State Epidemiologist, CDPH, reported yesterday to the CDPH Community Vaccine Advisory Committee that nearly 2 million COVID-19 vaccinations have been shipped to California, and about 490,000 doses have been administered. She acknowledged the need to move faster with distribution, particularly in the midst of the crushing surge of COVID-19 patients that has overwhelmed the California hospital system.

Pan told the Committee that the state plans to allow for greater flexibility for distribution within the priority structure, such as allowing healthcare leaders in smaller jurisdictions to offer the vaccine to subsequent priority groups once they’ve moved through the current phase.

The CDPH Community Advisory Committee will meet again at the following times:

  • Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021 - 3:00 - 6:00 pm

  • Wednesday, Feb 3, 2021 - 3:00 - 6:00 pm

  • Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021 - 3:00 - 6:00 pm

Contact info for local county health departments can be found here.

Additional information on the California vaccine efforts can be found here.

Any and all other COVID information coming from the state can be found here.