Riverside County begins administering COVID vaccines to newly eligible people, including those 65 and over

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- People aged 65 and older began getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as three new sites opened in Riverside County Thursday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that residents 65 and older are now eligible to receive the vaccine, following new guidance from the federal government. The previous age requirement for tier 1 of Phase 1B was 75 years old.

Several free vaccine clinics are scheduled to get underway over the next week countywide as officials continue to work to speed up the rate of vaccinations in a quest to thwart the spread of the coronavirus.

"The county team is moving quickly to open more sites that will vaccinate even more of our residents,'' Supervisor Karen Spiegel said . "We know so many of our residents want the vaccine and we're working diligently to make that happen.''

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The scheduled clinics will continue to accommodate residents in Phase 1A of the state's vaccine distribution plan, including health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

Residents in tier 1 of Phase 1B are now allowed to get vaccinated -- including people aged 65 and over and select essential workers, such as those in education, child care, emergency services and food and agriculture.

Inoculation is free, but people will be asked to provide medical insurance information, although insurance is not required. People planning to get vaccinated must register for an appointment in advance and bring the required paperwork to prove their eligibility.

The following clinics will opened Thursday and will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, with the exception of Martin Luther King Day on Monday:

-- Corona High School, 1150 W. 10th St.;
-- Heritage High School, 26001 Briggs Road, Menifee; and
-- San Gorgonio Middle School, 1591 Cherry Ave., Beaumont

There was a long line at Corona High School Thursday morning, with more and more vying for appointments.

"It's not like a pill, where somebody can come through, you give them their medication, they go on their way and they're done," said Shane Reichardt with Riverside County Emergency Management. "We have to make sure that we've got the ability to set them aside, they wait for 15 minutes after getting their shot and they're monitored by paramedics so that if they have any adverse reactions, there's somebody there to address that rapidly."

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On Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore will be the site of a one-day drive-up vaccination clinic reserved for people aged 65 and older. The stadium is located at 500 Diamond Drive.

On Sunday, a one-day drive-up vaccine clinic will be held in Indio at the Riverside County Fairgrounds, 46350 Arabia St., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It will be open to all permitted tiers.

There are also walk-up clinics, which also require an appointment.

Additional information can be found here.


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City News Service contributed to this report.
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