COVID-19 Vaccine

Many have had questions regarding how the State of California is prioritizing COVID-19 vaccines for distribution among the various groups of California citizens, as well as the timing of when vaccine distribution will begin for each of the groups. A summary of the state’s plan for prioritizing vaccine distribution is shown below. 

Please contact Dairy Institute if you have additional questions.

Phase 1A of vaccine distribution:

  • Health care workers
  • Workers and residents at skilled nursing facilities and other long-term care homes

Phase 1A estimated start date:  Underway

Phase 1B. After Phase 1A comes Phase 1B, which includes people who are unable to work from home, live or work in highly impacted areas, or are most likely to spread the virus to coworkers or the public. Phase 1B distribution will be organized in two tiers.

Phase 1B, Tier One includes:

  • People 75 and older
  • Workers in education, like teachers, and childcare
  • Emergency services worker
  • Food and agriculture workers, like farm workers, food processing workers, food distribution workers and grocery workers 

Phase 1B-1 Estimated Start Date: Underway, as supplies allow

Phase 1B, Tier Two includes:

  • Anyone 65 or older with an underlying health condition or disability
  • Workers in transportation and logistics
  • Industrial, residential and commercial sectors
  • Critical manufacturing workers
  • Incarcerated individuals
  • Homeless individuals

Phase 1B-Tier 2 Estimated Start Date: Immediately Following Tier 1

Phase 1C will include:

  • Anyone 50 and older
  • Anyone 16 to 64 years old with an underlying health condition or disability
  • Workers in water and waste management
  • Workers in the defense, energy and chemical sectors
  • Communications and IT workers
  • Financial services and government operations workers
  • Community service groups

Phase 1C Estimated Start Date:  Spring 2021

Phase 2 will include individuals other than those who have been prioritized in Phase 1A through Phase 1C

Phase 2 Estimated Start Date: Summer/Fall 2021.

Given the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends that county health departments balance the prioritization of these scarce resources to maximize the goal of achieving community immunity for all Californians.

After focused and appropriate efforts to reach the individual groups currently prioritized, health departments and providers may offer doses promptly to people in lower priority groups when:

·         Demand subsides in the current groups, or

·         Doses are about to expire according to labeling instructions.

To maximize vaccine administration and reduce the potential for vaccine wastage, local health departments and providers should immediately administer COVID-19 vaccines to individuals in all tiers of Phase 1a. Providers offering vaccines should consider partnering with other providers or organizations to provide vaccinations for individuals in the prioritized tiers. However, local health departments and providers should make special efforts to administer the vaccine to vaccinators.

Local health departments and providers may allocate doses on the assumption that immunization will be accepted by some but not all who are offered the vaccine, and then continue to offer vaccinations to all individuals in progressive priority tiers. If a county has maximized use of the vaccine to administer individuals in Phase 1a, they should move to Phase 1b, Tier 1 while continuing to offer vaccines to those in higher priority groups.


California Department of Public Health Vaccines

>> Revision of Allocation Guidelines for COVID-19 Vaccine

Find Your Local County Health Department

Track Vaccination Eligibility & Data








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