Millions more Californians now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

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Millions more Californians are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Starting today, anyone aged 16-64 with certain high-risk medical conditions, disabilities or illnesses are eligible to get vaccinated, as well as people in congregate living spaces including homeless shelters or prisons and transportation workers.

"I am thrilled that the front line transit workers are finally going to get treated like the frontline workers that they are," said Caltrain board member Charles Stone, who also chairs the San Mateo County transportation district board.

Transportation agencies have been pushing for their workers to get priority access to the vaccine just like restaurant and grocery store workers and emergency responders.

"Whether they’re bus operators, checking tickets on a train or what have you, these are folks that have put themselves on the line so that folks can still get from point A to point B, especially essential workers and lower income folks who rely on public transit even more so during the pandemic," said Stone.

The California Department of Public Health estimates that about 4.4 million people fall under these categories.

San Francisco has gone a step further by adding people with HIV to the high-risk category and deafness to the list of eligible disabilities. The city is going beyond the state's eligibility rules by covering developmental, medical, physical, sensory or behavioral health disabilities.

With demand still high for the vaccine, appointments may initially be difficult to find.

For more information on who qualifies under the high-risk medical condition category, click here.