Jan 11, 2021

Offering COVID vaccine to all eligible health-care workers

By Elle Johnson

Jan 11, 2021

Any Kern River Valley workers who fall under Phase 1a, Tiers 1-3 categories of Kern County's COVID-19 vaccination plan can now schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine through Kern Valley Hospital. 

"The vaccine will be administered in our mobile care unit," the Kern Valley Health District (KVHD0 said Monday. "When you have made your appointment, you will be told at that time where the mobile unit will be set-up for the day."

Kern County recently released its COVID-19 vaccination plan.

"California's COVID-19 Vaccine Plan is prioritized based on high-risk groups that are defined in several phases as well as tiers within those phases," Kern County Public Health Services Department said last week.

Each phase of the plan has different tiers. 

Under Phase 1a, Tier 1 allows health-care workers to receive the vaccination. This includes those working at acute care, psychiatric and correctional-facility hospitals; skilled-nursing or assisted-living facilities; and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals. It also covers residents in long-term care settings; paramedics, EMTs and others providing emergency medical services; and dialysis centers, the Public Health Services Department said.

Tier 2 of Phase 1a offers vaccination to a broader range of health-care workers. This includes individuals employed at intermediate-care facilities for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision and supportive care; home health care and in-home supportive services, the department said. Additionally, community health workers, including promotoras; public health field staff; and primary care clinics, including federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics, can get the shot. 

The last tier of Phase 1a, Tier 3, which opened Friday, allows the remainder of health-care workers to receive the vaccine. These health care workers include those employed at specialty clinics, laboratory workers, dental and other oral health clinic workers and pharmacy staff not included in higher tiers.

Additional phases and tiers will become active as California receives more doses, including people ages 16 and older, but handled based on priority. The approved vaccination schedule is posted on the county's public health website at kernpublichealth.com/coronavirus-vaccine/ under "COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule." 

KVHD cautioned the public not to call Kern Valley Hospital or Mountain View Health District directly for appointments. 

"We expect our phone lines to be very busy," KVHD said. " If you receive a busy signal, please be patient and try calling again."

Required paperwork to receive the vaccine is available at www.kvhd.org.  KVHD is asking that the paperwork be filled out before each appointment, but copies will be available at the mobile care units for those who don't have access to a printer. 

Everyone who schedules an appointment will be required to show a photo ID and proof that they qualify for the vaccine under the current phase and tier levels. 

To make an appointment at Kern Valley Hospital, eligible workers are asked to call (442) 320-3048.