Eligibility For COVID Vaccination

Dear Postdocs,

The COVID era has been filled with much confusion and uncertainty and we recognize that vaccine eligibility has not been any different. As postdocs ourselves, we do not have clarity on the issue. However, we have heard from many of you and feel the need to address postdocs directly with the information that we can provide to the best of your knowledge. Here is what we think you should know about getting vaccinated:


From the website links below and the previous communications received by EHS we know that:

  1. Santa Clara County under Phase 1B is vaccinating “All staff in colleges, universities, junior colleges, community colleges, and other postsecondary education facilities at risk of contracting COVID-19 through their work”

  2. Starting March 15th, Santa Clara County is also vaccinating individuals age 16-64 with qualifying high-risk medical conditions or disabilities.

  3. From President Biden’s address, we anticipate that all adults will be eligible by May 1st

Although providers ultimately decide who is eligible under any given criteria, SURPAS’ interpretation is that, as part of the education community, postdocs meet the criteria to be vaccinated and can schedule an appointment! 

How to sign up

  • Stanford Health Care- MyHealth (Note: scheduling availability is determined by supply at Stanford)

  • Other individual health care providers such as Kaiser and Sutter Health

  • Myturn.ca.gov (Note: Vaccine appointments through this website may not be available in Santa Clara County as they have opted out of Blue Cross Blue Shield system for now, but try your or nearby counties)

  • Counties websites

  • CVS, Safeway and other pharmacies (COVID-19 Vaccine Spotter is a super useful tool to find appointments in pharmacies as they become available)

If you have any questions on how to interpret the eligibility criteria, please contact surpasleadership@stanford.edu


As I said in my message to the community last week, counties, including Santa Clara, are pointing to state eligibility criteria for Phase 1B, which for individuals in education and child care requires that they be “at risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through their work.” We have not received additional clarification. Our current understanding is that many vaccination providers are taking a broad interpretation of the “education” category. We believe this will include staff, faculty and postdocs, and may include students who are paid for their roles on campus or have work requirements similar to certain employees, such as student residential staff, graduate research assistants and teaching assistants, laboratory personnel and others. However, vaccine availability under the “education” category may vary across different vaccination sites, with some providers taking a more strict interpretation of the risk criteria in the state guidelines.