Berkeley grocery store workers, in-person teachers now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

The city of Berkeley has been sharing public health news and recommendations about COVID-19 on its website. Berkeleyside is reprinting some of these items with permission.

Berkeleyside is sharing this message about expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for certain groups from the city of Berkeley. It was published Feb. 15 and appears below in full.

We’re expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations coordinated through the City to include all those who live or work in Berkeley who are currently employed in grocery stores, convenience stores, or in-person education and childcare settings.

Those who fit into one of these groups, as well as Berkeley residents who are at least 65 years old, can now register for appointments at a vaccination site at the foot of Buchanan Street in Albany. Appointments are available Wednesday, February 17 – Saturday, February 20. (Ed: These appointments are filled as of Tuesday, Feb. 16)

Update, 2/16/21: Initial appointments have been filled, but spots may open up due to cancellations or if more supply becomes available. Alameda County is also now scheduling vaccine appointments for adults 65 and older and workers in food & agriculture, emergency services, and education & childcare. Check availability and sign up at myturn.ca.gov.

After scheduling, you will receive a confirmation email with the date and time of your appointment. We will verify appointments with identification at the site. You will not be asked about immigration status.

COVID-19 vaccines are free to everyone. You do not need insurance to get a vaccine. However, those who have medical insurance will need to provide their insurance information.

For technical support or assistance scheduling your appointment, call Curative, Inc. at 888-702-9042. For questions about eligibility or attestation requirements, email covid19@cityofberkeley.info or call 3-1-1 or (510) 981-2489*.

Employment verification required for those under 65

For employment-based eligibility, we are following California Department of Public Health vaccine allocation guidelines.

To qualify for these appointments, people under 65 must live or work in Berkeley and currently be working:

  • in a grocery or convenience store
  • providing in-person education or childcare services (this includes in-person childcare in informal settings, such as nannies)
  • as a health care worker or in-home caregiver
  • Education workers providing remote-only instruction are not eligible for these appointments.*

Those receiving the vaccine based on their employment will need to provide documentation to confirm eligibility at the site. They can use:

  • a recent pay stub
  • a letter from their employer (download a sample letter)
  • an employee ID badge
  • If using an employee ID badge without a picture, you will need a picture ID to verify identify.

Instructions: uploading photo of medical ID card

If you have health insurance, you’ll be asked to upload a photo of your medical ID card when scheduling your appointment.

Follow these steps to add your card:

  • Take a photo of your card.
  • Send the photo to your email.
  • Open email and save the photo to a file on your computer.
  • Upload the photo from the saved file using file manager.
  • If you are unable to do this on the insurance page, click on the box that says “I do not have my insurance card” and click continue to move to the next screen. You may have to enter some additional medical information. Bring your medical card with you to the appointment.

If you do not have health insurance, disregard these instructions. You do not need insurance to be vaccinated and will not be charged to receive a vaccine.

Transport option for Berkeley seniors, disabled

For Berkeley residents who need assistance getting to the site, a ride service supported by the City can help some people get to their appointments for a $15 fee.

After you’ve scheduled your vaccination appointment, call Easy Does It at (510) 704-2111 to check your eligibility, register for services, and schedule a ride.

Easy Does It will ask health screening questions to ensure the safety of the rider and the driver. Personal protective equipment is worn by drivers, and face coverings are required of riders.

Vaccinations for those 65 and up now available through CVS and Rite-Aid pharmacies

CVS and Rite-Aid pharmacies are also now scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers and those at least 65 years old. Use the links below to schedule an appointment. Keep in mind that supplies are limited and wait times may be long.

CVS COVID-19 vaccine appointments
Rite-Aid COVID-19 vaccine appointments

With vaccine supply limited, sign up for notification lists

The limited national supply of COVID-19 vaccines means that it will take many months for vaccines to reach the general population.

No matter what your age, you can prepare by understanding what your health care provider’s process is and signing up for general notification lists. Supply is limited everywhere, so sign up for as many lists as you can to maximize opportunities to receive a vaccine:

City of Berkeley vaccine notification list
Alameda County resident vaccine notification list
Alameda County employer vaccine notification list
State of California (“My Turn”) vaccine notification list

The City of Berkeley’s list will be used to notify people when new vaccination opportunities are made available by Berkeley Public Health.

No matter what list you are on, keeps tabs on your email and take immediate action when you receive a notification that you are eligible to make an appointment.

* This paragraph was added or amended after initial publication on February 15, 2021 to provide additional clarification.