PRESS RELEASE: RIDGECREST REGIONAL HOSPITAL ADDRESSES VACCINE AVAILABILITY, REGISTRATION AND OTHER UPDATES

Tuesday, March 23, 2021, RIDGECREST, Calif. – With the new state-mandated shift to the “MyTurn” registration for all eligibility screening and scheduling for COVID-19 vaccines, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH) is responding to questions about what to expect from the latest changes from the California Vaccine Administration.

RRH Chief Executive Officer Jim Suver said that the organization’s prime objective at this time is safeguarding an adequate supply of vaccine, and that he feels confident that this can be achieved through the transition over to BlueShield, which has been charged with standardizing the vaccination process with equity across the state.

“The decision to transition over to the BlueShield MyTurn state system is a directive from the State of California and not one that the hospital had control over, we are required to use it,” said Michelle Whalley, RRH Clinic Administrator and Vaccine Taskforce Leader. “That being said, it is an easy to use system that will ensure that you get a vaccine when it is your turn.”

If a person is eligible and vaccine appointments are available, there will be the option to schedule an appointment. If a person is not yet eligible, the system will notify them once they become eligible in accordance with the state’s vaccination eligibility schedule. Appointment availability is dependent upon local supply of vaccine. The system also provides the State with real-time data on numbers of registered individuals and where vaccine is most needed.

“Although more phases of the vaccine schedule are opening up, vaccine supply is still scarce” continued Whalley. “Appointment availability through the MyTurn system is tied to the hospital’s inventory. Whilst this can feel frustrating for those trying to sign up and get an appointment, this system is highly effective in managing the limited vaccine supply our state has to distribute. RRH has done a fantastic job in ensuring all vaccine is administered within the timeframe and due to our highly coordinated vaccine effort there has been no waste.”

RRH has administered more than 3,200 first doses, and more than 1,800 second doses, in accordance with state and county guidelines for eligibility — which includes long-term care facility residents, individuals 65 years and older, and people who work in health care, education, emergency service and agriculture sectors.

The latest eligibility Phase, 1c, includes people age 16-64 with severe health conditions, persons with developmental or other severe disabilities, people who live or work in congregate residential settings and persons who work in public transit.

Patients with questions regarding their medical condition or eligibility for the vaccine should consult with their primary care provider.

“Despite more phases opening up, the phases are very specific and the majority of people are still not eligible,” said Whalley. “This is why getting registered with MyTurn is so important. The software includes a screening tool which will ask health specific questions to determine a person’s eligibility.”

RRH is asking that patients visit MyTurn and register for eligibility screening and appointment availability. For support with vaccine, registration and scheduling questions, please see the MyTurn Virtual Assistant “Chat Now” or call the CA COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 (M-F 8AM-8PM, Sa-Su 8AM-5PM) for assistance.

There are currently three vaccines available to people in eligible phases of the vaccine schedule, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen. All three vaccines have been authorized by the FDA for emergency use and have been proven highly effective against Covid-19. RRH is encouraging everyone to receive the vaccine that becomes available to them, as soon as they have the opportunity.


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