All adults will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Berkeley starting April 15, with those 50 years and older eligible even sooner, on April 1, due to new state guidelines announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday.

Berkeley Public Health has been aligning with state guidelines for vaccination tiers, and will be opening up vaccinations to those groups when more vaccines become available. So far, appointments have been relatively difficult to obtain, though more have become available in recent weeks.

The newly expanded vaccination tier includes everyone 16 and older as adults eligible on April 15. Until now, the groups who have been eligible are essential workers, people 65 years and older, people 16-64 with health conditions, staff in the food and agriculture industries, education, transportation and several other industries.

There are no more restrictions in the coming tier except for age limits excluding children, who have not received official federal approval to take the vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines are approved for people 18 and older, and Pfizer-BioNTech is approved for anyone 16 and older.

City spokesperson Matthai Chakko said there are appointments for the current eligibility tier already scheduled for next week, but criteria on registration sites will expand to contain the new groups on April 1, then April 16. The city’s vaccination notification system is the first place available appointments are shared from the city sites and others, he added.

While Berkeley gets a portion of the vaccines allocated for Alameda County at its Golden Gate Fields and community vaccination sites, vaccines are also available through healthcare providers, local pharmacies like Safeway and CVS, community clinics and more. Berkeleyside’s full guide to getting the COVID-19 vaccine has more details.

Person in car at vaccination site at Golden Gate Fields.
Getting vaccinated at Golden Gate Fields. Photo: Kelly Sullivan

Supriya Yelimeli is a housing and homelessness reporter for Berkeleyside and joined the staff in May 2020 after contributing reporting since 2018 as a freelance writer. Yelimeli grew up in Fremont and...