Californians 16 and up now eligible to book COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Coronavirus Vaccine

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (NewsNationNow) — California will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility statewide on Thursday to everyone 16 and older.

In anticipation of this large expansion, the state’s MyTurn website has been working to fix any glitches and make things run more smoothly.

My Turn officials said the online system can handle up to 300,000 transactions per hour, and that they expect it to handle demand.

California’s health department says it’s made incremental improvements to the website every couple of weeks. So as people try to sign up on Thursday, officials say Californians will notice a smoother registration process and new language options in Arabic and Persian.

As counties like San Mateo expand eligibility, its COVID-19 vaccination branch chief, Dr. Anand Chabra, reminds us that initially, not everyone will get an appointment.

“The main thing is that there will be a lot of people, a lot of additional people eligible to get a vaccine and trying to get a vaccinated and the supply hasn’t changed since today and it won’t change tomorrow,” Chabra said. “So that recognition that it might take a bit of time so remain patient but please be persistent.”

Chabra stresses to also search for appointments through your local health providers or pharmacies like CVS who are not yet integrated into the MyTurn system.

“We’re working with CVS to get them to onboard to MyTurn so presently you’d have to go to CVS but there are others who are onboarding,” Chabra said.

While providers like Kaiser Permanente in South San Francisco are integrated into the MyTurn system, the California Department of Health says it’s still working to get other federal partners, as well as smaller healthcare providers, on board and into the system.

No timeline for when that might happen, so again your best bet is to try booking appointments through all avenues.

NewsNation affiliate KRON contributed to this report.

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