By CBSLA Staff

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — All Riverside County residents 16 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine starting Tuesday.

The Riverside University Health System made the surprise announcement Monday.

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“The expansion of eligibility will allow the last large group of Riverside County adult residents to get vaccinated, and bring us one step closer to herd immunity,” Kim Saruwatari, director of Riverside University Health System-Public Health, said. “Bringing the vaccine to a younger population, where we have seen an increase in cases, is a big step forward.”

Those age 16 and 17 will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian in order to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Those age 18 and older will be eligible to receive the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

“More vaccine is available now, and opening eligibility will move us even further towards our goal of vaccinating the majority of our residents,” Board Chair Karen Spiegel, Second District Supervisor, said. “Vaccine works best when the majority of the population takes it.”

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According to health officials, more than one million vaccine doses have been administered to Riverside County residents through both county-run clinics and community providers.

Those 16 and older will be able to make an appointment on the county’s website for county-run sites at Albert A. Chatigny Sr. Community Recreation Center in Beaumont, Heritage High School in Menifee, Tahquitz High School in Hemet and the Moreno Valley Mall.

There are also clinics at six community health centers operated by the Riverside University Health System that will allow residents 16 and older to be vaccinated.

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Those in need of assistance making an appointment can call 211.