San Luis Obispo County will transition to lottery system for COVID-19 vaccine appointments ahead of My Turn rollout

Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 00:47:09-05

San Luis Obispo County is moving to a lottery-based system for vaccine appointments in preparation for the rollout of California's My Turn program, which centralizes COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The county says the lottery process will be more fair and equitable than the previous system.

County Public Health Director Dr. Peggy Borenstein said, “You register one time. You will remain in our system until you either withdraw or we get you an appointment.”

This means people do not have to keep calling or going online to find available appointments. However, guidelines state that only people who are eligible can sign up.

Borenstein described it this way, “We will have x-number of first appointments available. Whether you register the minute before we run the numbers, if you will, or if you registered three weeks ago, you will be available to be pulled by random electronically to get an appointment.”

Members of the public will be able to input the times and days they are available to get the vaccine.

However, there is no definite timeline for how long people will stay in the system as it is random and dependent on supply.

But one resident says it is better than the old system. Annoush Hughes is part of a high-risk group and has been trying to get her vaccine.

“We don’t have to wait in line just to be told that the vaccine isn’t available for us. It is good to just register once and be told that it's ready for you,” she said.

The county says they will try to roll out the lottery system next week which means those first available appointments will be for the week after.

Dr. Borenstein reported good news this week about the number of residents who are fully vaccinated.

“We have administered in the public health department nearly 27,000 doses so far. Countywide, including other providers that have vaccine, we’ve administered in the county over 54,000 doses. Almost a third of all doses have been second doses. More than 30 percent have been completely vaccinated. If you apply that percentage to the total number of doses in the county, we’re making progress. We have almost 15% of our population fully vaccinated,” she said.