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Percentage Of Fully Vaccinated San Diegans Inching Up, But Fewer Average Daily Doses

A vial of a COVID-19 vaccine at the CSU San Marcos vaccination site. Feb. 22, 2021.
Roland Lizarondo
A vial of a COVID-19 vaccine at the CSU San Marcos vaccination site. Feb. 22, 2021.

At least 6.7% of San Diego County's population have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. That's an increase from about two weeks ago when the figure was 2.6%.

However, vaccine supply challenges continue to hinder the rate of progress needed to achieve the county's goal to vaccinate 70% by July.

Percentage Of Fully Vaccinated San Diegans Inching Up, But Fewer Average Daily Doses
Listen to this story by Tarryn Mento.

Vaccine supply delays and shortages are resulting in far fewer average daily doses than required to reach that target. The county and providers in the region last week administered an average of 8,279 doses a day, a county spokesman said. That's below the roughly 12,000 delivered a day the first week of this month and even further away from the 22,881 daily doses needed to reach the vaccination goal.

However, that tally may not include any doses administered by the military, Veterans' Affairs and tribal agencies.

Spokesman Tim McClain said in an email the county has the infrastructure to administer more than the daily goal but is just lacking in the actual product.

"If we had more supply, we would be closer to 27,000 vaccinations a day," McClain said.

Percentage Of Fully Vaccinated San Diegans Inching Up, But Fewer Average Daily Doses

Dr. Jeff Goad, former president of the California Pharmacists Association, said reaching the 70% goal is key to achieving herd immunity.

"Whether that be through vaccine or through natural immunity, but primarily through vaccination because we don't want to lose any more lives, of course," said Goad, also a member of the state's COVID-19 Vaccine Drafting Guidelines Workgroup. "Once we get to above 70%, that's generally mathematically the threshold when you start to terminate an outbreak."

The county's target, which works out to be 1.8 million San Diegans, focuses on the population aged 16 years or older because vaccines are not approved for anyone younger.

While vaccinations slowly increase, the region’s case rate is declining. The state announced Tuesday the county's rate of new COVID-19 infections has dropped to 15 per 100,000 San Diegans, but that figure must hit 14 for youth sports to begin and 7 for more business operations to resume.