What San Diegans should know about getting a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot

KEARNY MESA (KUSI) – San Diego County public health officials reported 515 new COVID-19 cases and 12 additional deaths Wednesday.

Wednesday’s report brought the county’s cumulative totals to 355,872 cases since the pandemic began, while fatalities increased to 4,066.

The number of COVID patients in county hospitals decreased from 375 on Tuesday to 367, with 124 of those patients in intensive care, according to state figures.

A total of 25,017 new tests were logged by the county Wednesday, and the percentage of positive cases over the past 14 days was 3.4%.

More than 4.76 million vaccine doses have been administered in San Diego County, with 2.47 million people — or 88.2% of eligible county residents — having received at least one dose, according to the latest data. Fully vaccinated county residents now number more than 2.21 million, or around 78.8% of the county’s eligible population.

San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents is 21.9 overall, down from 27.6 last week. This number averages the rates of 10.3 per 100,000 for fully vaccinated people and 37.9 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

In the past 30 days, there were 378 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county. Of these, 370 people were not fully vaccinated and eight were fully vaccinated.

No-cost COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. They can be found at medical providers, pharmacies, community clinics and county public health centers for people who do not have a medical provider.

A list of locations and more information is available at coronavirus- sd.com/vaccine.

On Monday, officials encouraged thousands of eligible residents to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters and told those who have not yet received the shot that it is the best way to avoid severe symptoms from the virus.

Boosters are now available for those who qualify at about 400 locations countywide. Fully vaccinated people with “breakthrough” infections should talk with their doctor about boosters as no guidance has been published by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

Only those who received their second dose of Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago, and meet certain other criteria, are eligible. Those who received Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines will have to wait for CDC and Food and Drug Administration approval.

The CDC recommends the following groups get the booster:

— those 65 and older;

— those 18 or older living in long-term care facilities; and

— those 50-64 with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Additional groups are eligible for the booster, including:

— those 18-49 with health conditions;

— those 18-64 who work in occupations working with the public, such as first responders, educators, grocery workers and food service workers.

KUSI’s Hunter Sowards was live from Kearny Mesa Wednesday night with more.

Categories: Coronavirus, Good Evening San Diego, Health, Local San Diego News