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Hundreds of thousands of people have come to this guide to get information about when, where, and how to find and make an appointment to get vaccinated in Oakland and Alameda County. We’re glad you’re one of them.

You’re currently eligible to get vaccinated in Alameda County if you’re in at least one of these groups:

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  • Healthcare workers 
  • People 50 years and older
  • People who work in long-term care facilities, childcare, education, emergency services (including law enforcement), or food and agriculture, including grocery, corner store, and restaurant employees
  • Ages 16 to 64 with some medical conditions—including cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and heart conditions
  • People who are pregnant
  • People who live with developmental disabilities and who meet certain conditions. (See the full list here.)
  • People who live or work in jails, prisons, and other detention facilities; homeless shelters, behavioral health facilities, or other high-risk congregate residential settings
  • All people experiencing homelessness who could transition into congregate settings at short notice
  • All public transit workers, including airport and commercial airline workers

Documentation to verify disabilities and medical conditions aren’t necessary. Instead, according to the state public health department:, “anyone meeting the eligibility requirements will be asked to sign a self-attestation that they meet the criteria for high-risk medical conditions or disabilities.” 

Being eligible doesn’t mean it’s easy to find an appointment. Be prepared to call or register at several locations before you get an appointment. The state’s My Turn portal is a good place to turn to first. Also check out VaccinateCA, a volunteer effort to track open appointments across the state.

The Alameda County health department recently announced a new hotline for people who cannot book an appointment online, for whatever reason: 510-208-4VAX (4829). They’ve also updated their notification form to take into consideration factors like mobility and available medical coverage to help get specialized vaccination efforts to those who need it the most. 

California will expand vaccine eligibility to all residents 50 and older on April 1. And people aged 16 and older will be eligible on April 15. Read the governor’s full announcement here.

The governor has authorized vaccinators to give shots to family members who take their eligible relatives to get vaccinated. “No questions asked,” Newsom said.  A vaccine site may, however, turn family members down if they don’t have enough supply to cover everyone that day.

Read on for more information on finding and making appointments at those sites, or through your healthcare provider, at a public hospital, community health centers, and more locations. You can simply scroll, or click a question below to jump down to a specific answer.

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Don’t see your question answered below? Notice something wrong or missing from our guide? Feel free to email us. Thanks in advance for helping us improve this information.

Where can I make an appointment?

We recommend keeping an eye on VaccinateCA, a vaccine locator dashboard run by volunteers who “call medical professionals at hundreds of potential vaccination sites daily, asking them if they have the vaccine and if so to whom they will administer it to and how to get an appointment,” according to its organizers. “We write down what they tell us, and publish it to this site.”

While we can’t guarantee that information at VaccinateCA is accurate—and they can’t either—we have seen residents post positively about their success finding appointments they learned about through this site. 

The Alameda County Health Department also maintains a list of active vaccination sites.

Or you can call 211, the county’s information resources hotline, to speak to an operator if you need assistance navigating the county’s vaccine resources and notification system. 211 is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There’s also a new resource for updates on when vaccine appointments become available in our region: Bay Area Vaccine Bot on Twitter. It provides up-to-the-hour updates on where and when vaccine spots become available, most of which are available at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. 

Mass vaccination sites

The Oakland Coliseum’s parking lot is hosting a mass vaccination site (for people aged 50 and older and essential workers listed at the top of this page) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m, seven days a week. They report vaccinating up to to 8,000 people a day, according to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

As of April 1, the Coliseum site has switched to Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine and expects to deliver 6,000 shots a day for the last two of the eight weeks the site has been currently approved for. 

“Appointments will be available through the state’s MyTurn registration system several days prior to clinics opening,” Brian Ferguson, a CAL OES spokesman told The Oaklandside.

The Alameda County Fairgrounds is now open as a drive-thru only mass vaccination site, in partnership with Stanford Health Care and Sutter. People who are currently eligible—50+ and some essential workers, and people with certain medical conditions—can make an appointment through the county’s notification system. Appointments are required for this site. For more information, visit the Fairground’s vaccination webpage

The Moscone Center in San Francisco has opened a mass vaccination site for all Bay Area residents, age 50 and older. They can be made using the state’s My Turn system. People have found it helpful to put in the center’s zip code, 94103, when selecting their location in the My Turn system. You can also call the statewide call center for appointment assistance at 833-422-4255.

Community Health Centers and county-run centers

The Community Church in West Oakland is hosting a mobile vaccine clinic using Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine Sunday, April 4th for people who meet county eligibility guidelines. They’re giving out 500 shots from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1527 34th Street. Dial 510-594-2207 or 510-332-3846 to find out if they have a spot for you.

Fremont High School‘s vaccination site is open Thursday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located at 4610 Foothill Boulevard in East Oakland.  It offers vaccines to residents aged 50+ and currently eligible essential workers. This site is allotted 640 doses per day. 

Appointments and same-day sign-ups are being prioritized for residents 50 years and older and some workers (food, childcare, emergency services) in these zip codes: 

  • 94601 and 94606 (San Antonio/Fruitvale)
  • 94603 and 94621 (East Oakland)
  • 94607 (West Oakland)

Community health centers within the Alameda Health Consortium are now vaccinating patients who are 50 years and older. If you’re currently a patient of one of these clinics who is 50 years and older, and haven’t received a text message from your healthcare provider, call using the numbers below:

  • Axis Community Health: 925-462-1755
  • Bay Area Community Health: 510-770-8040
  • La Clínica: 510-535-4000
  • LifeLong Medical Care: 510-704-6010
  • Native American Health Center: 510-535-4400
  • West Oakland Health Center: 510-835-9610

Asian Health Services has phone lines set up in several different languages for their locations:

Frank Kiang Medical Center, 250 East 18th St., 2nd Floor:

  • English/Chinese/Vietnamese: 510-735-3888
  • Korean: 510-735-3887
  • Mongolian: 510-735-3883
  • Tagalog: 510-735-3888 ext. 3765

Chenming & Margaret Hu Medical Center, 818 Webster St.:

  • Main: 510-986-6800
  • Vietnamese: 510-986-6862
  • Cambodian/Khmer: 510-986-6868
  • Tagalog: 510-986-6842
  • Korean: 510-986-6869

Native American Health Center is hosting a free Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinic for anyone aged 50+ and adult essential workers and those with qualifying health conditions from Monday, April 5 to Saturday, April 10 at 3050 International Blvd.

It is also available to anyone 18 or older who lives in the following zip codes:

  • 94607 (West Oakland/Chinatown)
  • 94601, 94621, 94544, 94606 (Fruitvale/East Oakland)
  • 94578, 94603, 94541, 94580 (Ashland/Hayward)

By appointment only. Call 510-434-5360.

Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center in Hayward is currently vaccinating Alameda County residents and patients who are 50 years and older. If you are not a patient, text 510-800-7198 and TVHC will send you a link to their waitlist for a vaccine appointment. If you are a patient, text 510-471-5880 to schedule your vaccine appointment.

True Vine Ministries is offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to people eligible under county guidelines from approximately 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Friday through Monday through May 5. Shots are given at their church located at 896 Newton Carey Jr. Way (formerly Isabella). Appointments are required and can be made by calling 510-549-5402 or 510-208-4565.

Umoja Health will be offering a pop-up vaccine clinic from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 3 at Center of Hope Community Church , 2601 E.C. Reems Court. People interested in getting a shot need to fill out their interest form or call 1-888-763-0007 and leave a message with your name and phone number. Even if they don’t have enough shots, being in their system could help you get vaccinated at another future pop-up.

Hospitals

John Muir Health in Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County is currently vaccinating eligible John Muir Health patients. The HMO says it will reach out to eligible patients on their MyChart account. More info here.

Sutter Health is currently vaccinating eligible patients, though first-dose appointments are hard to get. Patients can book appointments through My Health Online or by calling 844-987-6115.

Kaiser Permanente is currently vaccinating everyone in Phase 1B listed at the top of this page, as well as people with a body mass index of 30 or greater​ and current and former smokers. 

If enough vaccines are available, Kaiser says they’ll also vaccinate people with the following conditions:

  • Thalassemia (blood disorder)
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis or pulmonary fibrosis
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Immunocompromised state or on immune weakening medicines
  • Liver disease
  • Neurologic conditions (such as multiple sclerosis or dementia)
  • Overweight, defined as BMI 25-29

If you are eligible for a vaccination but not a member, you will need to obtain an appointment, if available, and a medical record number by calling Kaiser at 866-454-8855. Kaiser recommends checking back on its website for updates.

Stanford Health Care is also currently scheduling appointments for people who qualify under Phase 1B, including people who are 50+ or who work in healthcare, education, and childcare (including staff and any other workers involved in child and/or student care), emergency services, agriculture and food, and people with certain medical conditions and disabilities who put them at greater risk, according to its website

You can schedule an appointment to get vaccinated at Stanford Health Care locations in Emeryville or Pleasanton by creating an account through Stanford Health Care’s MyHealth system, or by calling 650-498-9000, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Alameda Health System

Alameda Health System is offering vaccines to AHS patients who are 50+. The vaccine are being offered at all four AHS Wellness Centers:

· Highland Campus: 1411 E 31st St., Highland Care Pavilion, 3rd floor

· Eastmont Wellness: 6955 Foothill Blvd #200

· Hayward Wellness: 664 Southland Mall, Hayward

· Newark Wellness: 6066 Civic Terrace Ave, Newark 

Make an appointment by calling 510-437-8500.

Retail pharmacies

Rite Aid is offering appointments in California but supply is extremely limited. More info here.

Safeway is offering vaccines in Alameda County to those who are currently eligible. More info here.

CVS pharmacies: CVS is offering vaccines to currently eligible residents at Oakland locations. More information here.Walgreens is offering limited appointments to people who are currently eligible in California. More info, and the option to create an account to see appointments, here.

Veterans Affairs

On March 24, President Biden signed the SAVE LIVES Act into law, which allows the U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans, their spouses, and caregivers. Before that, the VA was only giving vaccines to veterans receiving care through their VA and caregivers enrolled in its Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC). 

While it is still unclear how quickly the SAVE LIVES Act will expand vaccine availability, the VA has a sign-up form for veterans, their spouses and caregivers who are not receiving care through the VA to let them know when a vaccine might be available to them. But as the VA says on its website, “At this time, we don’t know when that will be.”

In Alameda County, the Veterans Affairs office that provides COVID-19 vaccines is the Palo Alto VA Medical Center at 4951 Arroyo Road in Livermore. To make an appointment, call 925-373-4700. There are also VA medical centers in Concord, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. 

Is it free to get vaccinated?

Vaccinations are free for all, including people who do not have medical insurance. Vaccine providers can recoup fees from private and public insurance companies, and from a government fund for people without insurance, according to the CDC.

How do I prove I’m eligible?

According to county spokesperson Neetu Balram, essential workers getting vaccinated at a county-run POD will need to provide photo identification. Photo ID does not have to be government-issued. Proof of age is also required for people age 50 and up, but this proof also doesn’t have to be government-issued. Proof of home or work address is also required. For essential workers some type of employment verification, like a pay stub, work badge, employer list, or letter confirming your role at your place of employment, will be required at vaccination appointments.

“We recognize ID could be a barrier to getting vaccinated as we move along in the phases, so we are reviewing how else we can ask individuals to attest that they are in the phase that is being vaccinated and not jumping the line,”  Balram said.

People aged 16 to 49 with underlying health conditions should have access to their medical records and should bring copies to their vaccine appointments, but they won’t be required. 

I need help getting to my appointment.

Free AC Transit bus rides: If you need a ride to the Coliseum vaccination site, AC Transit is offering free shuttles seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m, every 15 minutes. You will need to present your appointment verification to board the bus for free, and only 10 riders are allowed at the same time. Lines 45, 46L, 73, 90, and 98 connect to the Coliseum BART shuttle. 

Free BART rides: If you need a ride back home from the Coliseum on your appointment day, BART is offering free rides for anyone who got vaccinated at the Coliseum. You will need to present your vaccination card showing the date you got vaccinated. According to BART, there will be wheelchair accessible carts making loops between the pedestrian bridge/BART elevator and the Coliseum. The carts can be used by anyone who needs assistance. 

East Bay Paratransit: For those who are eligible for the service, East Bay Paratransit will transport people to their vaccination appointments at the Coliseum with proof of the appointment from the MyTurn system for the standard fare

Lyft rides: To help loved ones get to vaccine appointments, rideshare app Lyft launched “Rides for Others,” which is now available nationwide. Here’s how to send a ride to someone else using “Rides for Others”:

  • Tap the search bar on the home screen of your Lyft app
  • Tap the ‘Me’ button at the top of the next screen, then tap ‘Add rider’ and follow the prompts 
  • Enter the pickup location and destination, and send them on their way. (You can track their ride from your app.) 
  • The ride recipient must have their own Lyft account and will see ride details in their Lyft app

Lyft will be announcing plans to provide free and discounted rides to uninsured individuals. Read Lyft’s Health and Safety policies to learn how Lyft says it keeps its drivers and riders safe during rides.

San Leandro: The City of San Leandro is providing free on-demand rides to vaccine appointments in Alameda County from the city’s FLEX RIDES program to any San Leandro resident aged 60 or older. Residents can call 510-577-3462 or email SLRec@sanleandro.org to join the FLEX RIDES program.

Caltrain: Caltrain is offering free rides for those who live or work in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties headed to or from vaccination appointments. All you have to do is show the conductor proof of the vaccine appointment or a vaccination card. More here.

How can teachers get vaccinated?

Teachers and others who work in education and childcare became eligible for vaccination on Feb. 8 under Phase 1B.  

According to the county, that includes: 

  • Staff in formal and informal childcare/daycare 
  • Pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high schools 
  • Colleges, universities, junior colleges, community colleges, and other postsecondary education facilities 
  • Technical and trade schools 
  • Educational support services and administration 
  • Student care, including school bus drivers and monitors, crosswalk guards, etc.

Educators and other school staff are divided into priority groups for vaccination, according to the county’s office of education:

  • 1A: Staff currently working with students in person at schools in the hardest-hit zip codes, including East Oakland (94621, 94603), West Oakland (94606, 94601), and Fruitvale (94607)
  • 1B: Staff currently working with students in person at schools in other zip codes
  • 2: Other school staff and those who are scheduled to return for in-person learning in the next few weeks
  • 3: Educators who are working remotely
  • 4: All other school staff, including school board members

Right now, groups 1A and educators in 1B are eligible now, with groups 2 through 4 coming next.

I have disabilities. What resources are available for me?

Senior and Disability Action, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, held a vaccine town hall for Alameda County seniors and residents with disabilities. Watch the recorded town hall, with captions here

At Alameda County’s county-run vaccination centers, and mass vaccination sites like the Oakland Coliseum and the Alameda County Fairgrounds, accommodations will be made for people who use wheelchairs, and for people who are not able to leave their car. 

“We will have onsite staff to help with distancing and navigation of sites for those who have visual impairments,” said county spokesperson Neetu Balram. “Staff are also available onsite to support language and technology accessibility.”

The county is also reviewing its vaccination page to improve access for people with vision challenges.

I’m undocumented. Will I be able to get vaccinated?

You won’t need to be a U.S. citizen to receive the vaccine, per the county’s FAQ page.

How will unhoused people get vaccinated?

While the state’s vaccine guidelines do not give priority to homeless people, Alameda County has decided to begin vaccinating people who live in shelters and encampments.

Individuals who are experiencing homelessness should be able to sign up for an appointment on their own, as the county has communicated to all vaccination providers that unhoused people qualify for the shot, said county vaccine director Dr. Kathleen Clanon.

But in most cases, patients are required to show photo identification with an address when they receive a shot, information that vaccine clinics and pharmacies use to bill the government. Many unhoused people, who don’t have a permanent address, don’t have the requisite IDs. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this situation and report back here with more information.

Everyone in a Project Roomkey hotel shelter has been offered or given a vaccine, and residents at other shelter sites will be given a chance in the coming weeks.

The county says it’s working on bringing mobile vaccine clinics to homeless camps as well. “What we’re worried about is making sure we’re not wasting vaccines,” said Clanon. “That’s liquid gold. We want to make sure we have a plan to meet people at the encampment, and bring it there safely.”

I’m not eligible right now. How can I find out when it’s my turn?

The statewide sign-up form is called My Turn. It asks for information like the county you reside in, your job sector, age, and underlying health conditions. My Turn is being used to help counties and cities schedule vaccine appointments. 

Alameda County also has three sign-up forms for residents, employers, and healthcare providers to get notified when they’re eligible for the vaccine. 

The form asks for basic information, like your name, age, zip code, insurance provider, and contact information. The Alameda County Public Health Department will reach out to you when it’s your turn to get vaccinated.

Form for residents 

Spanish speakers: form for residents 

Chinese speakers: form for residents

Form for employers

Form for healthcare providers

The forms are not currently available in formats for people with hearing and visibility challenges. 

I’ve gotten my first dose. Now what?

According to Dr. Tri Do, Alameda County’s community health clinic coordinator, if you received your first dose of the vaccine before Monday, January 11, you do not need to make an appointment to receive your second dose. Simply return to the location where you received your first dose on the date listed on your vaccination card.

You should generally aim to receive your second dose within a few days of the due date on your vaccination card. But according to the CDC, if you encounter extreme circumstances that prevent you from getting your second dose on or within a few days of this date, you should still get your second dose, which will work if administered up to 6 weeks after the first dose. 

Many systems, including the state’s MyTurn system, book first and second doses at the same time.

How is the county tracking vaccinations?

The county has a vaccine dashboard, breaking down distribution by dose, city, age, race and ethnicity, and gender. The page will be updated weekly. 

How can I volunteer with the vaccine effort?

The state is recruiting medical and non-medical volunteers to help with the vaccine through its My Turn Volunteers program, which launched March 5. Volunteers who work four hours or more may then qualify to be vaccinated themselves, although the state says this is not guaranteed. As of March 11, no non-medical volunteer positions were listed in Oakland. 

The county is also seeking medical and non medical volunteers. Non-medically trained volunteers can volunteer only through the county. Medically trained volunteers can either sign up with the state’s California Health Corps or the county. Please note that criminal background checks will be performed on all volunteers who sign up with the county. 

The county is looking for: doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, medical assistants, phlebotomists, respiratory techs, ER techs, X-ray techs, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, social workers, registration clerks, nutrition staff, housekeeping, IT, security, maintenance, etc. There may also be a need for translation services.

County form for both non-medically and medically trained volunteers

California Health Corps volunteer form (medically trained only)

You can also learn more about volunteering with VaccinateCA, a volunteer-run effort to help people find open vaccination appointments, here.

What vaccines are available, and are they safe?

The most commonly used vaccines to date are the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. Both require two-doses to be effective and  they protect up to 95% of vaccinated people from a severe COVID-19 illness, and nearly everyone from disease severe enough to require hospitalization about two weeks after the second dose. Doses should be given about three weeks apart. 

The latest vaccine to get FDA approval is made by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, although it’s commonly referred to as the “Johnson & Johnson vaccine.” Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it only requires one shot and doesn’t have to be kept at below-freezing temperatures. This makes it easier to administer to people who are harder to reach, including those who are entirely homebound or are experiencing homelessness. Full protection is reached 28 days after injection.

In early March, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state had received 21,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with 10,500 to be administered at the Coliseum mass vaccination site. 

All of the vaccines have been deemed safe, but some side effects—like soreness in the arm, flu-like symptoms, or feeling tired the day after injection—have been reported. 

Here are the FDA’s factsheets that offer more details:

Is it free to get vaccinated?

Vaccinations are free for all, including people who do not have medical insurance. Vaccine providers can recoup fees from private and public insurance companies, and from a government fund for people without insurance, according to the CDC.

VaccinateCA Dashboard: a resource created by volunteers to track vaccine availability across the state. The dashboard is organized by region, including the Bay Area, and updated every day.

FAQs page on Alameda County’s Department of Public Health website: answers questions from the community including: What do the vaccine phases mean for me? What should I do while I wait to be vaccinated? Should I get the vaccine if I have an allergic reaction to another vaccine?

Community Advisory Vaccine Group: an ad-hoc countywide group of doctors, nurses, childcare providers, disability advocates, public health officials, teachers, and church and community leaders. The group was created to share information about the COVID-19 vaccines, build trust with communities, and coordinate messaging about the vaccines. The group plans to meet bi-weekly through spring 2021. The next meeting is planned for Tuesday, April 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.

CDPH Vaccine Allocation Guideline: the county is following the state’s department of public health recommendations for vaccine allocation.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline: “When Vaccine is Limited, Who Should Get Vaccinated First?” is the CDC’s page for vaccination prioritization. There’s an option to sign for email updates.

Bay Area COVID Vaccine Waste Reduction Directory: Self-described “Bay Area Vaccine Hunters” have crowdsourced a guide for people who are hoping to get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine that might otherwise end up in the trash. It lists a few places where vaccine distribution sites in Oakland can put people on a waitlist.

Bay Area Vaccine Notification: Bots scrape “more than 100 public and private vaccine locations” from healthcare providers to local pharmacies in the Bay Area and assemble them all on one feed on the Telegram app. 

This guide was originally published on Jan. 15, 2021. The Oaklandside’s reporting team will be continuing to update this post once a week or more. Freelance contributor Sarah Belle Lin contributed to this guide through Feb. 17.

Sarah Belle Lin

Sarah Belle Lin is an independent journalist and photographer based in the East Bay.