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60% Of San Diego Military Members Vaccinated Against COVID, County Wants That Data

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Gregzon Fontanilla, at Naval Base San Diego, Jan 12, 2021.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Haist
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Gregzon Fontanilla, at Naval Base San Diego, Jan 12, 2021.

According to data from the Navy, around 60% of San Diego’s active military population have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

New numbers show a combined 66,000 Marines and sailors have rolled up their sleeves so far — 43,700 of those doses came from Naval Medical Center San Diego with another 22,358 delivered at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton through April 28.

60% Of San Diego Military Members Vaccinated Against COVID, County Wants That Data
Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.

"The Department of Defense is not used to giving up their information — some of it is sensitive," said Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego.

60% Of San Diego Military Members Vaccinated Against COVID, County Wants That Data

Peters helped get access to the federal data as local health officials are trying to get the most accurate picture of vaccination progress here.

"The county had a problem because there are so many military people," Peters said.

Peters said between active duty, dependents and other Department of Defense retirees (excluding veterans) there are around 328,000 San Diegans who get their health care from a DOD provider. Included in that figure is an estimated 110,000 active-duty military members.

"We need those counts to be able to decide how the county is doing," Peters said.

Peters got the data — and out of an estimated 328,000 beneficiaries in San Diego, 29% have gotten one dose and 19% are fully vaccinated. Federal officials believe those numbers are higher, as some outside of active duty were likely vaccinated by their health care provider or at county-sponsored sites. To be counted in these DOD totals, that person would then need to self-report their vaccinations. Shots for active-duty service members are required to be reported, even if received outside of a federal facility.

"There’s probably a lot of DOD active duty or dependents who went through a county site, or the DOD — it doesn't matter where you get it," said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

Fletcher pushed to get the DOD data, plus vaccination numbers from the VA.

"So we can really track where we are on the progress toward our goals," he said Friday.

As of mid-week Fletcher reported nearly 70,000 people had been vaccinated at VA San Diego, but he said it will take some time to get the military's numbers onto the county's vaccination dashboard.

"To date, the numbers reflect all those [doses] administered by healthcare providers, county of San Diego — pretty much everyone except DOD," Fletcher said.

Military officials have committed to updating local health officials on vaccination progress on a bi-weekly basis.

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