COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Phases

Last updated 1/14/2021

Because a limited amount of COVID-19 vaccine is available right now, the vaccine is being made available in phases to different populations based on risk factors. We don't yet have a precise timeline for when the vaccine will be available to groups in different phases/tiers. It will take several months before the vaccines are widely available to the general public. The chart below outlines the order in which people will become eligible to get vaccinated based on criteria developed by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)




Distribution Phases at a Glance

  • Healthcare workers
    (tiers 1, 2, 3)

  • Employees & residents of long-term care facilities

  • People ages 50 - 64

  • People ages 16 - 64 with high-risk medical conditions

  • Other essential workers

All people ages 16 years and older not in Phase 1

  • People ages 75 and over

  • People ages 65 - 74 

  • Frontline essential workers

  • Congregate settings with outbreak risk

Dec. - Jan.

Started January

Estimated Spring

Estimated Summer

Vaccine Eligibility 

Eligible Now


Phase 1A: December - January​

  • Healthcare personnel (tiers 1, 2, 3)

  • Employees & residents of long-term care facilities 

1A - Tier 1

  • Acute care, psychiatric, and correctional facility hospital staff

  • Residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals

  • Paramedics and EMTs

  • Dialysis centers

1A - Tier 2

  • Intermediate care facilities for persons who need non-continuous nursing supervision and supportive care

  • Home health care and in-home supportive services

  • Community health workers, including promotoras

  • Public health field staff

  • Primary care clinic workers

  • Veterinary staff 

Phase 1B: starting January

1B - Tier 1

1A - Tier 3

Other healthcare workers, including

  • Specialty clinics

  • Laboratory workers

  • Dental and other oral health clinics

  • Pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers

  • Mortuary workers


Eligible Later

Phase 1B: Estimated Winter

1B - Tier 1​

1B - Tier 2

  • Essential workers in:

    • Transportation & logistics

    • Industrial, commercial, residential & sheltering facilities & services

    • Critical manufacturing

  • Congregate settings with outbreak risk: incarcerated & homeless

Phase 1C: Estimated Spring

  • People ages 50 – 64 

  • People ages 16 – 64 with high-risk medical conditions

  • Other essential workers

    • Water & wastewater

    • Defense

    • Energy

    • Chemical & hazardous materials

    • Communications & IT

    • Financial services

    • Government operations / community-based essential functions


Phase 2: Estimated Summer*

  • All people ages 16 years and older not in Phase 1

*Subject to change. Pending approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Ethical and Equitable Vaccine Allocations


Contra Costa Health Services formed the COVID-19 Ethical & Equitable Vaccine Allocations Committee to ensure a fair, transparent, and evidence‐based approach to access during the early stages of availability.  Click here to learn more.



Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given at no cost to you. Vaccination providers may charge an administration fee, usually billed to your insurance.