San Diego County prepares for expansion of COVID vaccine pool

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Hundreds of thousands of San Diegans became eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines Thursday when the state expanded eligibility to everyone age 16 and over.

Thursday’s expansion of eligibility allows millions of Californians to make appointments for shots, which could stretch already thin supplies. San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher again urged patience from the public as more vaccines will be shipped to the county in coming weeks.

Both Fletcher and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria received their first dose of the vaccine Thursday and encouraged others to follow suit.

“Help us defeat the pandemic,” Gloria wrote on Twitter. “Make a plan to get your shot now.”

The county’s vaccine appointment system is  open for those who become eligible Thursday. For 16- and 17-year-olds, only the Pfizer vaccine is available.

Appointments can be made at www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/ 2019-nCoV/vaccines/COVID-19-VaxEvents.html.

Fletcher received his shot from the Veterans Administration, while also noting on Wednesday the VA and Department of Defense would begin including vaccination numbers for the county’s daily statistics — something they had not been doing previously.

County public health officials reported 281 new infections and five additional deaths Thursday, increasing the region’s totals from throughout the pandemic to 274,249 infections and 3,653 deaths.

Of the 17,942 test results reported Thursday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 1.9%.

Hospitalizations for the coronavirus increased for the third day in a row, from 178 Wednesday to 182 Thursday.

Patients in intensive care beds have also increased for the past three days, increasing from 58 Wednesday to 62 Thursday. There are 48 staffed, available ICU beds in the county.

More than 2.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, and 1,233,122 county residents — or 61.1% of the county’s goal of 75% of its eligible population — have received at least one dose.

The state’s goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — equating to around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

The county reported a total of 768,931 people in San Diego County — or 38.1% of that goal — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the region.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local San Diego News