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Retail Pharmacies Now Providing Lion’s Share Of San Diego’s COVID-19 Vaccines

A nurse prepping a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine shot, March 23, 2021.

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: A nurse prepping a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine shot, March 23, 2021.

San Diegans have largely turned to traditional vaccination clinics to get immunized against COVID-19, county health officials announced Friday.

According to county data, retail pharmacies are now the primary provider of vaccines, administering more than 100,000 doses in July through Wednesday. They were followed, in order, by community clinics, with nearly 20,000 doses; private medical providers, with nearly 17,000 doses; county sites, with around 13,000 doses; and hospitals, with just under 9,000 doses during the same time frame.

"I want to thank every San Diegan who has been vaccinated and the many partners working daily with the county to ensure vaccines are readily available in every part of our region," said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. "Masking and other public health guidance are additional measures to help us safely navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinations are our key for getting out of it."

RELATED: San Diego County Reports Increasing Vaccination Numbers As COVID-19 Cases Rise

The county has been working with its vaccination partners to get the word out to San Diegans who are hesitant about getting immunized.

To date, around 2.28 million — or 81.4% of the 2.8 million San Diegans eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine — have received a first dose and around 1.97 million or 70.3% are fully vaccinated.

"I want to thank all of our community and health care partners who have been doing a great job getting the word out about how important it is to get vaccinated," Wooten said.

In the past month, the local COVID-19 case rate has jumped from 2.1 to 19.3 cases per 100,000 residents. Hospitalizations have also increased more than 300% and intensive care unit admissions rose by over 120% during that same period.

RELATED: San Diego County To Phase Out Some COVID-19 Vaccinations Sites

On Thursday, a total of 1,273 cases were reported, the highest daily total since Feb. 5.

The spike in cases drove the county to recommend mask-wearing indoors for all San Diegans regardless of vaccination status.

"Unvaccinated people are overwhelmingly the ones getting infected and being hospitalized," Wooten said. "If you have not gotten your COVID-19 vaccine, do it now."

The county is helping medical providers contact all San Diegans who are partially vaccinated to get their second shot, especially now that COVID-19 cases have been going up — a spike driven primarily by the Delta variant. The county is also using the San Diego Immunization Registry to develop follow-up reminders for those who are behind schedule.

RELATED: San Diego Doctor Applauds State’s Vaccine Order

In addition to the hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine locations available throughout the region, the county is also operating eight geographically distributed no-cost vaccination sites that allow people to choose any one of the three vaccines available in the United States: Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

For a list of locations and more information, go to www.coronavirus- sd.com/vaccine.

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