San Diego County officials urge patience in vaccine rollout
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The state of California authorized immediate access to COVID-19 vaccines for all residents aged 65 and older this week, following new guidance from the federal government. However, local officials urged patience.
Dr. Mona Hacker joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss COVID-19 infections and vaccine distribution in San Diego County.
“We understand older San Diegans want to get vaccinated, but right now there is a very limited number of doses for people 65 and older,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, the agency’s medical director of epidemiology & immunization services.
“We’re asking San Diegans to be patient, more vaccine is expected in the region soon.”
There are more than 620,000 people in San Diego County that belong in the Tier 1A vaccine distribution group. With the 65 and older group, health officials are looking at another 500,000, for well over 1 million people eligible for vaccines.
Both available vaccines are not effective without two doses.
UC San Diego Health began administering some vaccines to older San Diegans this week, it was announced Friday.
“This means the start of hopefully the end of this COVID-19 crisis,” said Donald Crawford, one of the first to get a vaccine at UCSD Health. “I got the vaccine because hopefully it will help me and others and we can eventually get back to normal.”
The health agency hopes to have 70% of the county’s population over the age of 16 — or 1,882,554 people — vaccinated by the end of June.
San Diego County public health officials have reported 3,027 new COVID-19 infections and 28 virus-related fatalities.
Saturday’s cases marked the 47th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have been reported 18 times, while the 4,000-case mark has been crossed three times.
The county’s cumulative case total rose to 209,897, and the number of deaths to 2,065.
The county has reported a 56% increase in the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the past 30 days and a 42% increase in ICU admittance during that same time frame.
The number of hospitalizations rose 149 on Saturday and the number of intensive care admissions increased by six.