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Health

Ring in New Year by being COVID-19 and flu vaccinated, county officials say

Children get vaccinated for COVID-19
Nicholas McVicker
/
KPBS
A child getting his COVID-19 vaccine at Rady Children's Hospital on June 21, 2022

County public health officials continue to urge San Diegans to receive vaccinations for the flu and COVID-19 as numbers remain relatively high.

In the past week, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported 15 additional COVID deaths and 4,537 new infections — compared to 4,764 the week prior. Thursday's data increased the county's coronavirus totals to 962,312 cases and 5,641 deaths.

"Start the new year off right and protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and seasonal illnesses," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. "Make a New Year's resolution to stay healthy, get updated on your vaccines and avoid gatherings if you are ill."

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Wooten reminded San Diegans to take caution over the winter months during indoor gatherings, including masking, washing hands often, staying home when sick and home testing.

COVID-19 vaccines, including bivalent boosters, and flu vaccines are widely available at local medical providers and pharmacies. The county will also be offering vaccinations throughout the holidays at its vaccination sites.

The updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters were recently made available to everyone six months of age and older.

According to the latest state data, the number of people hospitalized with a coronavirus infection in San Diego County stands at 456, an increase of 11 patients over the previous day's total.

Of those patients hospitalized as of Thursday, 48 were being treated in intensive care, steady from Wednesday, and there were 251 available hospital beds in the county, down 10 from the day before.

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According to a county Health and Human Services report, 80.5% of eligible San Diegans have received their two-shot primary vaccinations. They also report that 20.5% of all eligible San Diego residents 5 years and older have received the new bivalent booster.

Flu numbers are on a downward trend, with two additional deaths and 906 cases reported in the past week, compared to seven deaths and 1,141 the previous week. The county's cumulative total increased to 29 deaths and 19,372 infections -- compared to 1,093 at the same time last season and a 1,982 prior 5-year average during the same week.