The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is now opening up COVID-19 vaccine appointments to people 65 years of age and older.
County health officials say the decision comes at the recommendation of the local Vaccine Task Force based on current vaccine supply and risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19.
Appointments for next week will open at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11. To schedule an appointment, visit www.Recoverslo.org/VaccineAppointments or call the County's Phone Assistance Center at (805) 543-2444.
Getting the vaccine for COVID-19 is something San Luis Obispo County resident George Westlund says he's been looking forward to.
"I just look at it as another line on protection in addition to masks," Westlund said.
While those in Westlund's age group, people aged 65-74, can now get the vaccine - the announcement came with some caveats.
"We have 1,900 appointments and a population of 38,000 who make up that 65-74 year old age group in our county. As you can see, we have woefully inadequate supply to meet the demand," Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer, said.
People in the community are being asked to evaluate their health needs and risks for getting the virus to see if they can continue to hold off on making an appointment for now.
For Westlund, he says it will be worth the wait when it's his turn to get the vaccine as his family and friends have been impacted by the virus.
"I know people who have gotten it: some had mild cases, some had worse cases and I know a couple of people whose family members have passed away from it. So I just look at it as one way of keeping myself going and doing what I need to do," Westlund said.
Health officials say appointments are limited due to limited vaccine supplies.
The County expects to administer more than 6,100 first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at next week's clinics in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande.
Vaccine appointments are also available at select pharmacies and French Hospital Medical Center as their own supplies allow. Click here for information on other local vaccine opportunities.