CALIFORNIA — The vaccines for COVID-19 are here.
After a shaky and slow start in January, the County of Los Angeles Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency ramped up their vaccine distribution. Both counties have set up several "Super PODs" or super point-of-dispensing sites to serve as mass vaccination sites.
Health care agency officials have also pressed health care providers, such as hospitals and pharmacies, to vaccinate their staff and neediest patients.
However, administering the vaccine to the masses is still very much a work in progress.
A vaccine supply shortage hampers the state and, therefore, counties statewide. Registering for an appointment for a first shot has become a cumbersome and frustrating experience for many seniors, and bad winter weather has closed outdoor sites.
Still, as Gov. Gavin Newsom said, there is hope. The vaccines are here.
Although the biggest issue is the vaccine supply shortage, President Joe Biden is boosting the vaccine supply nationwide.
Now, it's just a matter of time before those vaccine doses are jabbed into the arms of those that want it.
Here's what you need to know about the process:
L.A. and Orange counties are following a tier system developed by the state. Both counties are currently vaccinating Tier 1A, including health care workers, who have a high and moderate risk of exposure to COVID-19, long-term care facility residents, and Tier 1B, seniors 65 and older.
The Tier 1B phase includes essential workers, who are also at risk of exposure. Those are workers in education and childcare settings, emergency services, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, and critical manufacturing.
People who are incarcerated, in group homes, and experiencing homelessness are also in the Tier 1B.
It depends on where people live.
The city of Los Angeles, the county of Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Long Beach have their way of registering people.
For L.A. city residents, visit Carbonhealth.com.
For L.A. County, visit the County of L.A. Public Health website.
For Long Beach, visit VaxLAB.
Orange County residents and workers should register on Othena.com.
It's important to note that you need to prove that people meet Tier 1A or Tier1B criteria. Health care workers must bring a work badge, a professional license, or a payment stub with their name on it and their employers.
Seniors 65 and older must bring proof of residency (either Orange or L.A. counties) such as their driver's license, Real ID card, passport, utility bill or bank statement, or Medicare card.
Those who don't meet the criteria hold up the line for others waiting and, eventually, turned away.
All vaccinations are by appointment only. If you do not have an appointment, you will be turned away.
L.A. County has opened several Super PODs, where people can walk in or use the drive-thru. L.A.'s mega PODs include the Pomona Fairplex, Magic Mountain, The Forum in Inglewood, Cal State Northridge, the Balboa Sports Complex, and Dodger Stadium.
Other locations include community clinics and hospitals.
A full list of POD sites could be found on the County of L.A. Public Health website.
Orange County has set up two of five planned super PODs. One Super POD is at an outdoor parking lot at the Disneyland Resort (across the street from Anaheim Gardenwalk). The other Super POD is at the Soka University in Aliso Viejo. The vaccinations are being held inside one of the campus gyms.
After receiving your first dose at a certain site, most places will automatically schedule your second shot appointment. Most people receive a reminder, either an appointment card with the second appointment's date or an email, or receive a reminder on the Othena site in Orange County's case.
In some other sites, officials will notify people about the second doses when they receive more vaccines.
The second appointment is usually 21 to 28 days after the first shot, depending on the type of vaccine.
Pfizer's vaccine doses are given 21 days or three weeks apart.
Moderna's vaccine doses are given 28 days or four weeks apart.
The California Department of Public Health released a new website that shows a person is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
You can visit myturn.ca.gov and fill out the information.