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How to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles County

Mayor Garcetti fist-bumping a worker at a vaccine site
Mayor Eric Garcetti, right, and Gov. Gavin Newsom tour the vaccination site at Dodger Stadium.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

We’re back to March. In some ways, it has never stopped being March. But some things have changed. For instance, we now have three vaccines authorized to be administered in the United States. As of March 15, eligibility expanded to include more workers and people with certain preexisting conditions in Los Angeles County. On March 25, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced all adults in California age 50 and older would become eligible on April 1, and everyone 16 and older would become eligible on April 15.

If you’re elsewhere in Southern California, here are our guides for other counties.

Eligibility

Am I eligible? As of March 15, eligibility has expanded in L.A. County.

Healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and people 65 and older are in Tier 1A and remain eligible. As of March 1, Tier 1B became eligible. That includes: teachers and workers in childcare (including workers in early care and education, public schools, colleges and universities, and independent and charter schools; 1B does not include private nannies and babysitters); emergency services workers (including law enforcement, national security, corrections officers, workers required to be in person at court routinely and interact with clients in correctional facilities, campus and school police, dispatchers, and child and adult protective services workers); and food and agriculture workers (including food-associated port and transportation workers, food manufacturing workers, food service workers, farm workers, veterinarians and workers involved in veterinary health, and grocery store workers).

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The March 15 expansion includes millions of Californians aged 16 to 64 with certain disabilities or health conditions that put them at a higher risk for morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. Los Angeles County has now opened vaccinations to people who are pregnant or have BMIs of 40 or higher, cancer, chronic kidney disease of stage 4 or above, chronic pulmonary disease, Down syndrome, compromised immune system from solid organ transplant, sickle cell disease, heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies (excluding hypertension), and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Now that eligibility is expanding to all California adults, we’ve put together a list of the different ways you can try to make an appointment to get a COVID vaccine in Los Angeles County.

The state said the expanded eligibility rules include other people who are likely to develop a life-threatening illness or death from a COVID-19 infection or are limited in their ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their survival. If you’re not sure whether that includes you, ask your doctor about your potential eligibility.

As of April 1, Californians age 50 and older can get their shots. Everyone 16 and older in California will be eligible as of April 15. The California department of public health said you can make appointments now as long as the date of the appointment occurs when you are eligible.

Eligibility may be different depending on which California county you are in. If you’re not in Los Angeles County, check out our guides for other counties to find out if you are eligible there.

Find out if you’re eligible to be vaccinated — and be alerted when it’s your turn — by checking California’s My Turn tool (myturn.ca.gov) or by calling the California COVID-19 hotline at (833) 422-4255 (available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

How do I prove I’m eligible? If you are eligible because you are 65 or older, bring a photo ID. If you are eligible because of your job, bring your photo ID (it does not have to be government-issued — it can be your work badge, for instance), proof that you live or work in L.A. County (if your photo ID doesn’t have that information already) and proof that you work in an applicable industry. Here’s more information from L.A. County on what documentation is required (click “4. Required documentation” at the link).

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The state is not requiring proof of eligibility if you have a disability or other health condition: “To protect confidentiality, verification documentation of the diagnosis or type of disability is not required but instead anyone meeting the eligibility requirements will be asked to sign a self-attestation that they meet the criteria for high-risk medical conditions or disabilities.”

That means you are on the honor system when you certify that you qualify. Don’t cheat.

Do I need to have insurance to be eligible? Do I have to show proof of citizenship? No. The vaccine will be available for free to everyone, and you will not be asked about your immigration status.

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How do I sign up, and where will I get it?

You can make an appointment for yourself through government-run sites or private pharmacies and health centers. Those options include large point-of-dispensing sites (sometimes referred to as PODs and MegaPODs) like the ones at Dodger Stadium and the Forum. Appointment slots aren’t always available. Those are booking through MyTurn.ca.gov and Carbon Health.

To see the complete list of all the ways you can make an appointment along with links to do so, visit the county department of public health’s website by clicking here and scrolling down to “3. Look for an appointment.” You can also copy and paste this web address into a new browser window: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/.

You can also try individual sites for pharmacies and healthcare providers, calling your healthcare provider, or by checking one of the vaccine appointment scanner sites or bots.

If you try to make an appointment and all the slots are booked, you’ll have to wait until more open up. Right now, many counties don’t know exactly how many doses they will be receive each week, making it tough to predict how many appointments they can book. And because millions more people became eligible this month, appointments are going fast. Keep checking, and expect more to become available in the coming days and weeks. Just because you can’t get an appointment right now doesn’t mean you won’t be able to soon.

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California is dramatically expanding the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines, offering the shots to virtually all residents 16 and over by April 15.

Depending on your industry, you may be vaccinated through your job or at special dedicated sites. Healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents are being vaccinated onsite, in many cases. The L.A. County Department of Public Health posted a thread on Twitter explaining where some people in Tier 1B will be able to get the vaccine. For instance, if you work at a Vons, Pavilions, Sav-on, Costco or Ralphs with a pharmacy, those chains will provide vaccinations in-store for employees and food distribution and transportation workers. If you think you should be getting vaccinated at your workplace, contact your employer and ask for more details.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has opened four vaccination sites for employees: the Hollywood Park lot adjacent to SoFi Stadium, Roybal Learning Center, Diego Rivera Learning Complex and Panorama High School. LAUSD employees can make appointments for those sites at dailypass.lausd.net.

County-run sites are offering some dates and locations where vaccines will only be available to eligible people in certain job sectors. Check vaccine availability at MyTurn.ca.gov to look for industry-specific appointments.

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If you have disabilities or don’t have computer access, you can call (833) 540-0473 for help between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. seven days a week.

The second shot of the COVID vaccine does not need to happen precisely 21 or 28 days after the first to be effective.

What about my second dose?

If you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you are guaranteed a second dose. Ask at your first dose appointment to find out whether your second appointment will be scheduled automatically or if you have to make the appointment yourself. The second dose does not need to be administered exactly 21 or 28 days later — there is a grace period of up to six weeks after the first shot for the second dose.

If you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you don’t need to worry about it at all: It’s a one-dose vaccine.

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The side effects of a second shot of COVID-19 vaccine are a sign that it’s providing more vigorous, long-lasting protection against the coronavirus.


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