SAN LUIS OBISPO —The County Public Health Department plans to vaccinate even more local frontline health care workers after nearly tripling its COVID-19 vaccine supply this week. The County now has over 7,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines available.

Starting today, Dec. 30, all SLO County health care workers who currently provide direct, in-person clinical care and are not already set to get the vaccine through an employer or pharmacy partnership are invited to sign up for an appointment to get the vaccine from the County Public Health Department.

“This vaccine is critical to protecting our health care workers as COVID-19 surges in our community,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “This protects them and the people in their care.”

On Monday, the County expanded eligibility to include specialty care providers (including medical specialties, optometry, chiropractic care, podiatry, and occupational and physical therapy), laboratory workers, dental practices, and pharmacy staff. More than 1,300 local frontline health care workers have been vaccinated in SLO County, including first responders, dialysis staff, primary and urgent care clinicians, and home health care workers. In addition, hospitals are vaccinating their staff, and CVS and Walgreens are starting to vaccinate long-term care facility staff and residents. The State is vaccinating health care workers at State facilities, including California Men’s Colony and Atascadero State Hospital.

Following health care workers, other vulnerable populations, and essential workers will likely get vaccinated in February or March as supply allows. The County will announce additional vaccine distribution priorities in January, based on State and Federal recommendations.

“I recognize that many more people in our community, including our medically vulnerable neighbors and our essential workers, are also ready for the vaccine,” said Dr. Borenstein. “I wish we could bring the vaccine to everyone in SLO County who wants it today. We are working swiftly to vaccinate our frontline health workers first, then the many other important and valued people in our community.”

For updates, visit emergencyslo.org/vaccines or subscribe to the County’s COVID-19 update emails.

For more information, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805)788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at (805)543-2444 is available to assist with questions related to COVID-19 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Getting through this together, Atascadero