RRH COVID-19 VACCINE ADVISORY & RESPONSE: VACCINATION UPDATE (3.12.21)

An estimated 11 million people have now received their first vaccine dose in the State of California, including 167,000 in Kern County, with Ridgecrest Regional Hospital (RRH) nearing 5,000 vaccines. Based on outreach calls, RRH estimates that as many as 2,000 additional local residents have been able to get vaccinated by partners in the community, including pharmacies in Ridgecrest and at China Lake.

“This is exciting news,” said Michelle Whalley, RRH Clinic Administrator & Vaccine Taskforce Leader. “But as you likely know, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been challenging throughout most of the country, hindered by supply and distribution issues. California is no exception. We continue to tirelessly advocate to get vaccine supply to distribute to our community. Our state recently put a third-party administrator, Blue Shield, in charge of the vaccine rollout. The state also launched a website, MyTurn, where residents can fill in some information to see if they’re currently eligible to get vaccinated, and locate locations to schedule appointments. RRH has on-boarded with MyTurn, and we expect to roll this out publicly very soon.”


RRH is scheduling two large drive through clinics next week from its remaining waitlist of seniors age 65 and older, based on the hospital’s Blue Shield allocation. Despite this, the hospital is not guaranteed doses for future weeks, and therefore urges everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to register on the My Turn website and to regularly check the local public health department website for updates.

Whalley continued, “Although we know these new scheduling systems still present significant challenges, we’ve heard from many that they’ve also had success in getting a vaccine from other sites listed within Kern County, such as in California City, Tehachapi, Boron and Rosamond.”

RRH is committed to providing you with the latest and most relevant information on the COVID-19 vaccine and general health topics. COVID-19 vaccine information is being updated regularly on the RRH website, and the hospital’s social media.

Who is eligible now?

Kern County, is still in Phase 1B, Tier 1, which means that everyone 65 and older as well as essential workers in health care, education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture are eligible to receive the vaccine. Next week, vaccine eligibility will open up to people with high-risk conditions.

Kern County Covid-19 Vaccination Schedule

Which vaccine is best?

The best vaccine is the one that is currently available to you. Please note that all three of the FDA-authorized vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen) were 100% effective at preventing severe symptoms related to COVID-19 in clinical trials.
We urge you to get whichever vaccine is available to you, as soon as you are eligible, wherever you can get the earliest appointment.