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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Injustice

The Local Database That Could Influence How Much COVID-19 Vaccine San Diego Receives

A health care worker getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Petco Park, San D...

Credit: County of San Diego

Above: A health care worker getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Petco Park, San Diego County vaccination super station, on Jan. 11, 2021.

The long lines at Petco Park may be frustrating, but a steady stream of idle arms makes for a higher usage, or burn rate — the window between receiving and administering doses.

San Diego County is banking that a higher usage rate will prompt larger allocations from the state and is urging providers to use a locally developed database to track how quickly vaccinators are moving through doses.

Listen to this story by Tarryn Mento.

Patty Maysent, the CEO of UCSD Health, which is vaccinating its own patients but also partnering with the county to administer vaccines at public sites, said a high burn-rate shows the state that the region is ready for larger volumes of vaccine.

“That we're able to administer the vaccine within a week's time from getting an allocation to it in arms, and then that will drive further allocation to us as a region,” Maysent said.

Reported by Tarryn Mento

Maysent said burn rates for UCSD and the supersite it's managing with the county are about six to seven days. But the key to proving that to the state is the San Diego Immunization Registry.

UCSD’s Dr. Mark Sawyer said most states, including California, have their own registry to track immunizations and make the information more easily accessible to approved parties.

“It is a way for health care providers and pharmacists and schools to look up, whether you're up to date on vaccination and get you caught up if you're not up to date,” Sayer said.

He said SDIR launched decades ago is one of the few regional registries in California. County officials previously told KPBS it was mostly used for childhood vaccinations, but now it’s mandated for all COVID-19 shots.

Larger providers have their electronic health records automatically report administered immunizations to the registry but smaller providers may need to get up to speed. UCSD’s Maysent said entering the information quickly is crucial because it feeds to the state.

“It is the visibility that the state has for what we've talked about: the burn rate ... so it is very important,” she said.

But burning through vaccines quickly is still a gamble — UCSD is setting up a mass vaccination site on its campus that would likely serve the public as well as its patients. Maysent said she's unsure if or when the 3,000 doses UCSD gets each week will increase.

“That said, we're never going to get allocation if we don't have the infrastructure to put it in arms,” the CEO said.

San Diego County set a goal to fully vaccinate 70% of the county's population that' aged 16 years and older. So far the county said just 1.9% have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. But the county's vaccine dashboard notes the data may not include all administered doses because of reporting delays.

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San Diego’s public health officials discuss the challenges to vaccine supplies and distribution Meanwhile, in Sacramento, lawmakers are considering a new state law that will allow candidates without a law ... Read more →

Aired: February 2, 2021 | Transcript

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