Vaccine Preparation for California’s Homelessness Response System

The State of California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, the California Health Care Foundation, and the Beniof Housing and Homelessness Initiative at UCSF have joined together to create a series of resources to help homelessness response system leaders and providers prepare and implement a strategy for vaccinating homelessness service workers and people experiencing homelessness in every California county and community. These planning materials are the frst resources of the series.

COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most important tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, free to all Californians, and up to 95% efective.

Due to the currently limited supply of vaccine, vaccination is happening in a phased and prioritized approach in California to ensure access and equity. The approach is based on a streamlined statewide framework. California is prioritizing for vaccination based on risk and age, particularly those who are 65 and older. Vaccines will be allocated to make sure low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have access to vaccines, and providers will be compensated in part by how well they are able to reach disparately afected communities. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided guidance that vaccine distribution plans should incorporate strategies to bring the vaccines to places where people experiencing homelessness are, including homelessness service sites like shelters, day programs, or food service locations. If possible, it is recommended to vaccinate everyone on-site, including both staf and guests. This document is a guide for homelessness response system leaders and providers to understand and prepare for a rapid rollout of vaccinations for staf and clients when the state reaches this priority population. Additional detailed information will be released over the coming weeks to further support these eforts.