MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- This week, ABC7 has received hundreds of emails from viewers with questions about coronavirus vaccines. The most common question: when can I get vaccinated, based on my age, health conditions, and where I live?
"The message right now is to unfortunately sit tight," said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County's Health Officer. He says phase 1A - vaccinating health care workers and residents of long term care facilities - won't be complete until January.
But come February, Willis expects people with health conditions that put them at higher risk of bad COVID-19 outcomes, as well as non health care-related essential workers will get their turn.
"That's when we start talking about having teachers, people who work in the court system, and others be vaccinated," Dr. Willis said.
In March, Willis says it's possible the general population will be eligible for vaccines.
"If we're able to get over 70% of people vaccinated across the community, it's going to be a total game changer. Our lives will be a lot different, I'm hoping by the end of the summer."
Another question ABC7 has received: how will the general public access vaccines?
"The three main buckets are medical providers, pharmacies, and then specialized events," said Willis, who explained that large health systems, like Kaiser, may hold drive-thru community vaccination events, similar to parking lot COVID-19 testing.
Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca all require two doses. So, how will counties ensure people come back for that critically important second shot?
In Marin County, Willis says he'll, "be working with our health care providers to make sure those phone calls are happening, the texts are happening, the automatic messages are happening, to remind people."
Willis says doctors will likely reach out to their patients when vaccines are available, but that it's okay to call and ask your provider -- just give them a few months since nobody has vaccines right now beyond hospitals and acute care facilities.
If you have a question or comment about the COVID-19 vaccine, submit via the form below or here.
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