MARTINEZ, Calif. - Contra Costa County has opened up COVID-19 vaccine availability to everyone age 16 and older, regardless of where they live.
On May 3, 2021, Contra Costa County announced it was now offering vaccinations to residents outside the county saying supply was outpacing demand.
County health officials on Monday put out the alert, saying that supplies were plentiful, so vaccines would now be offered to those across the Bay Area, California, and even to those from elsewhere in the U.S.
"We've always said that this virus doesn't recognize borders," said County Health Officer Dr.Chris Farnitano. "Now we can say that Contra Costa County no longer cares about borders when it comes to getting people vaccinated against COVID," he added.
Officials reassured residents that opening up the vaccination program will not affect availability for those who live in the county. They explained that the changes were made due to the fact that vaccine supply has been outpacing demand.
Contra Costa County Health Services that more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccines had been given to county residents as of April 24, 2021.
"In the past two weeks, appointments at the County's vaccine sites have begun to go unfilled," officials noted.
In fact, a check of the county's vaccine appointment scheduling site on Tuesday found there were plenty of day-of openings available.
The move to open up vaccine eligibility to outside residents, officials explained, was part of a collective, wide-reaching effort to stop the spread of the virus.
"To end the pandemic, we need to vaccinate as many people as possible – not just people from Contra Costa, but from all over."
To sign up for an appointment, people can go to the Contra Costa Health services online scheduling site or call 833-829-2626. Health officials also said vaccinations were being offered without an appointment at county walk-in clinics.