Vaccine eligibility now open to Californians 16 and older

With all Californians at least 16 years of age eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, there’s new hurdle growing by the day: The ability to find an available slot, and sign-up to get vaccinated.

"The vast majority of the population is eligible to be vaccinated and can make use of any available vaccine appointments," said Dr. Karl Minges, chairman of the Dept. of Health Administration & Policy at the University of New Haven.

Fox 2 checked websites for county health departments from Santa Clara to San Mateo; Sonoma to Contra Costa; Napa to Alameda, and many places in between. This news agency also checked private providers such as Walgreens, CVS, and Stanford Health.

The computer intensive, hunt and peck approach provided few opportunities to successfully booking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

"Every time I go in, there are no appointments available for the ensuing 60 days. Maximum window they’ll let you look," San Mateo County Mike Davies said.

The windows may have shortened, from months to days or weeks. But the problem persists. Most sites say there are no available slots.

StatMed Urgent Care on the Contra Costa County health website was one of the exceptions. As of Apr. 15, it lists available walk-in appointments.

"Is it a challenge that might energize you? Or is it an obstacle to overcome?" asked Dr. Thomas Plante, a Santa Clara University psychologist.

He said the people who are unrelenting in their desire to score a coveted vaccination slot will succeed. Others will let frustration get the best of them, and quit.

"If people can find an easy and streamlined method to get the vaccination or other health care things done, they’re probably going to take it," said Dr. Plante.

With more people now eligible, and a bottlenecked vaccine supply, experts say it could be weeks before trying to book a vaccination appointment on-line, leads to an actual appointment.

"There’s gonna be ample supply, eventually," said Dr. Minges.

For the short-term, experts suggest dedicating few hours when trying to book an appointment.

Below are the dates and locations for the walk-in mobile clinics (all are open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.):

April 15-25
•     Veterans Memorial Hall: 968 23rd. St, Richmond
•     Antioch Community Center: 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch
April 26 – May 2
•     Albert D. Seeno Jr. Pittsburg Youth Development Center: 1001 Stoneman Ave., Pittsburg 
•     St. John Missionary Baptist Church - South Campus: 662 S. 52nd. St, Richmond
May 3-6
•     Meadow Homes Elementary School: 1371 Detroit Ave., Concord
May 3-9
•     St. John Missionary Baptist Church - North Campus: 29 8th St., Richmond