Information for seniors on the COVID-19 vaccine in Monterey County

January 11, 2021
Aspire Blog - the COVID-19 vaccine for seniors in Monterey County

Planning for the COVID-19 vaccine began months ago, and the countywide vaccination began December 18, 2020. This is great news, however, supplies of the vaccine are very limited at this time. We’ve received questions from our members, so we pulled together information from the Monterey County Health Department on the COVID-19 vaccine in Monterey County.

With a limited supply, some groups are recommended to receive COVID-19 vaccine first. The California Department of Public Health has convened a Drafting Guidelines Workgroup for counties to follow. At the date of publication, a full diagram of the phases can be seen below:

 

Here some additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the COVID-19 vaccine:

1. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Right now, there are two FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Federal partners work together to ensure safety, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup also reviews vaccines before they become available in California. Here is more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

2. Where can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine (when available)?

As previously mentioned, unfortunately, vaccine supply is currently very limited. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine will be easier once large quantities are available. When the time comes, there will be many options including at your doctor’s office, retail pharmacy, urgent care center, hospital or Federally Qualified Health Center (similar to the flu shot).

3. Is Medicare going to cover the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes – Medicare covers the COVID-19 at no cost to you. Members of Aspire Health Plan Medicare Advantage plans will receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to them once it is available. For more information on Medicare and the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Medicare.gov.

Note, it’s important to be alert for scammers. According to CMS, “if anyone asks you to share your Medicare Number or pay for access to the vaccine, you can bet it’s a scam.” You cannot pay for early access, put your name on a waiting list or receive access for a fee, so please don’t share your personal or financial information if someone calls, texts, or emails.

Here are some links for more information related to seniors, COVID-19 and Monterey County:

At Aspire Health Plan, we will continue to keep our members and seniors in the Monterey County community updated on the COVID-19 vaccine and any other important updates related to the public health crisis. Any questions? Contact Member Services at (855) 570-1600. TTY users call 711. Also, visit our COVID-19 updates & resources alert banner on the home page of our website for the latest news or updated community information.

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Discussion:

  • January 14, 2021 at 12:40 am, Sandee Russell says:

    I am an elderly woman that just moved to Monterey this week. I am 71 years old and have Graves Disease and other compromising health issues. I understand that anyone over 65 years old can now be vaccinated, of course assuming that it is available.

    If there is any kind of procedure that I can take to get an appointment, I would deeply appreciate it!

    Thank you for any help that you can give me!

    • January 14, 2021 at 9:07 pm, Aspire Health Plan says:

      Hi Sandee – please see the following update (from 1/13) from the Monterey County Health Department –> https://www.co.monterey.ca.us/Home/Components/News/News/7911/1336?backlist=%2fgovernment%2fdepartments-a-h%2fhealth%2f

      “Governor Newsom today (1/13) announced that the state is prioritizing individuals 65 and older to receive the vaccine as demand subsides among health care workers. The Governor also said those in Phase 1A – health care workers and long-term care residents – remain the highest priority to receive vaccines. Demand for the vaccines continues to exceed supply.

      Currently, Monterey County continues to vaccinate health care workers in Phase 1a Tiers 1,2 and 3. Vaccine remains in limited supply. Monterey County’s current inventory has been dedicated to the health care worker immunization clinics occurring this week.

      When there is enough vaccine to expand vaccination options, Monterey County will share that information widely along with when and how those who are eligible can get vaccinated. The Monterey County Health Department has been working for the last few months preparing for this aspect of vaccine rollout, including making plans for mass vaccination clinics.

      For those who are age 65 and older and are interested in getting vaccinated, the Monterey County Health Department is working in partnership with local health care providers to make vaccination opportunities available to you as soon as possible. Please continue to practice COVID-19 prevention measures such as staying home as much as possible, wearing a face covering, and practicing physical distancing.”

      Local healthcare provider sites:
      – Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula –> https://www.chomp.org/coronavirus/vaccine/#.YACwU-hKg2w
      – Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System –> https://svmh.communitycovidinfo.com/svmhs-information/vaccine-information/

      Any more questions, let us know!

  • January 18, 2021 at 5:02 pm, Carolyn Folmar says:

    I live in Monterey County and am a Senior Citizen. How do I make an appointment to get a COVID-19 Vaccine?

    Thank You,
    Carolyn Folmar

  • January 18, 2021 at 5:05 pm, Carolyn Folmar says:

    I was told that my Email did not go through. How do I make an appointment in Monterey County for a COVID-19 vaccine?

    • January 21, 2021 at 12:04 am, Aspire Health Plan says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      You have probably heard that Governor Newsom has prioritized people 65 and over for vaccination. Under the county Health Department’s distribution plan, the county remains in Phase 1a, vaccinating healthcare workers and long-term care residents.

      The vaccine remains in short supply and the county cannot expand distribution until more vaccine is available. Aspire Health Plan Members will be notified through mail, email, phone calls and social media as soon as we have word on the vaccine’s arrival.

      When the time comes, there will be many options, which may include your doctor’s office, retail pharmacies, urgent care centers, or Federally Qualified Health Centers.

      Please visit our COVID-19 updates & resources alert banner on the home page of our website for the latest news or updated community information. –> https://www.aspirehealthplan.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/COVID19_CombinedMember_Update_SPN_1.14.21.pdf

  • February 5, 2021 at 6:15 am, Bob Ingersoll says:

    When will Aspire Health have the Covid vaccine available for those of us who are 65+ years old.

  • February 14, 2021 at 8:24 pm, Christine says:

    I’m quite confused about how the Covid vaccine is being distributed! I’ve found that people enrolled in the Aspire health plan are getting preferential treatment while other seniors in the Carmel area who are older than 80 are struggling to find appointment within their communities.
    I’m 84, have a compromised immune system, can’t drive long distances and live alone. Tho I’ve followed the rules checking on the websites all the time, nothing is available.
    Because of my health I need the Moderna vaccine. This system is really screwed up, now 65 year olds are getting vaccinated before we older people.

  • March 11, 2021 at 3:20 am, Valerie says:

    I just registered my mother for an appointment. Do you have to live in Delaware to be eligible? I don’t want her driving to be turned away. She is over 65. Thank you!

    • March 12, 2021 at 4:21 pm, CNicholson says:

      Hi Valerie,

      We are Aspire Health Plan located in Monterey County, California. Did you mean to reach out to Aspira Health (based in Delaware)?

      If so, here is a link to their COVID-19 vaccine information –> https://aspirahealth.net/services/covid-19-vaccine/

      Hope this helps!

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