Orange County, CA Coronavirus Vaccine: News, Information and Data

Here is the latest known information on the coronavirus vaccine for Orange County, Calif. Page last updated Monday, Jan. 25. If you have updated information that should be included, please contact Voice of OC Digital Editor Sonya Quick at [email protected].

Quick Link for Appointments

All vaccine registration for the Orange County public is directed to Othena, the county’s vaccine and testing management app. LINK HERE: Othena.com.

Latest Updates

OTHENA UPDATES On Friday, Jan. 22 the county announced that the Othena.com platform “continues to undergo updates to address technical issues and improve the customer experience.” The site is said to work on prioritizing vaccines for individuals based on the state’s guidelines, and eligibility factors and registration times.

VACCINE AVAILABILITY The county website says as of Jan. 22 that more than 416,000 people have registered with Othena, 56,783 people have received a vaccination and 62,316 have schedule vaccination appointments.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED The county continues to stress the need for volunteers to help in medical and non-medical roles. Register at: https://oneoc.org/.

SECOND DOSES The county says that anyone who received their first vaccine use through the Othena system will automatically receive a 2nd dose appointment through Othena. People who received their first dose via another system (such as a health care provider or employer) will receive the second dose from the same source.

SOKA UNIVERSITY A new vaccination site was added Saturday, Jan. 23, at Soka University. Directions to the university are available (LINK). The city of Aliso Viejo within which the university is located also tweeted a specific map for vaccination entrances and exits (LINK).

APPOINTMENTS NECESSARY The county health agency warns that people should ONLY go to the vaccination sites if they have an appointment and that vaccinations are only given to people with an appointment (LINK).

Who can Get the Vaccine?

SUMMARY: People working in health care systems (specifics here), seniors 65 years of age and older and law enforcement workers in high-risk settings.

Orange County seniors 65 years and older were announced to be able to receive the vaccine starting mid-January following county public health officials bumping the vulnerable group up on the priority tiers. The announcement was made by county public health officer and Director of OC Health Care Agency Dr. Clayton Chau in an emergency vaccine task force meeting Sunday (Jan. 10) night.

“We will start to vaccinate seniors of the age of 65 and above in Orange County, adding them to the Tier 1a,” Chau said at the County Supervisors public virus update Tuesday.

Healthcare workers and first responders are also listed in that tier. The new push for seniors comes after widespread criticism of slow vaccinations, not just in OC, but across the state.

The renewed vaccination efforts also come after concerns from local doctors, dentists, nurses, medical assistance and other health care workers not connected to hospitals.

Hospital workers were the first to start the two-part vaccination process last month, when OC received the vaccines.

The next tier of people to be vaccinated (tier 1B) includes people working in food and agriculture along with education.

Reserving a Vaccine Appointment

Voice of OC first wrote about vaccinations being opened up to seniors on Jan. 12.  But as of Wednesday, Jan. 13, the county issued a press release that so many requests were made that vaccine appointments are filled up. And checks on the Othena website and app as of Jan. 14 show (like in the image at right) that there are too many requests to even setup an account ahead of an available appointment.

All vaccine registration for the Orange County public is directed to Othena, the county’s vaccine and testing management app. LINK HERE: Othena.com.

The app says it can be used to setup an account even ahead of an available appointment. Othena is a vaccine scheduling system created by CuraPatient in conjunction with health care agencies (per the OC Health Care Agency).

The app is only available for iPhones and iPads (LINK) and no mention is made of an app for Android devices as of Jan. 14.

The Othena website (LINK) also allows for registration but has shown to be suffering under too much traffic as of Jan. 14.

A county release says that a limited supply of the vaccine is currently available and can ONLY be distributed through appointments. A site is being setup at the Disneyland Resort to distribute the vaccine, but officials warned that “overwhelming the system will make it even more challenging to dispense the limited supply of vaccine currently available.” Three other sites setup to give vaccines have been overwhelmed with people seeking the vaccine.

Officials say vaccine appointment slots are directly made available based on available vaccine doses.

How Many Vaccines Have Been Given in OC?

Data from the county that has been released is shown in the infographic below.

The latest information was given at the Tuesday, Jan. 13, Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting: Chau told Supervisors Orange County received additional doses from other counties “who can not do it quick enough.”

“So we had 170,000 doses allocated to us. We left nothing,” Chau said. “Because we left nothing at the state, the state, this morning, just gave us 6,000 more doses.”

Frontline hospital staff received the initial rounds of vaccinations following OC’s first shipments last month.

Roughly 80% of the 170,000 initial doses went to hospitals, said OC Supervisor Andrew Do.

On Jan. 13 Chau said the county needs enough vaccines for roughly 40,000 doses a day if it wants to get all five supersites up and running at full capacity. That’s roughly 280,000 vaccines needed a week.

While Disneyland is the only site currently operating, four others are planned to roll out in the coming weeks.

Learn the Latest

Subscribe to Voice of OC’s Coronavirus email news alerts HERE. Also, be sure to bookmark this COVID-19 vaccine information page because we will continue to keep it updated.

And remember, Voice of OC is a NONPROFIT and nonpartisan news agency focused on Orange County. We have a limited staff and we provide all this information free of paywalls and advertising. If you can, please consider a donation to support our work.

County & State Information

COUNTY: The county has an information page on a vaccine distribution plan here: www.COVIDVaccineFacts.com. Contact the OC Health Care Agency at 714-834-2000 or [email protected].

STATE: The state has an information page here: https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/. You can also call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 833-422-4255.

Volunteer in OC

The county says volunteers are needed to help with vaccine distribution and systems (LINK HERE) — people with and without medical experience.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

UCLA offers this basic explanation of the available Coronavirus vaccines:

“The Pfizer vaccine is given in two shots, 21 days apart, and is authorized for use in people 16 years of age and older. The Moderna vaccine is given in two shots, 28 days apart, and is authorized for use in people 18 and older.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these links to information on the vaccine: