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National City Mayor Rolls Up Her Sleeve For COVID-19 Vaccine

National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis receives an injection at UC San Diego Health for a COVID-19 trial injection from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a company Johnson & Johnson, Nov. 13, 2020.
Matthew Bowler
National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis receives an injection at UC San Diego Health for a COVID-19 trial injection from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a company Johnson & Johnson, Nov. 13, 2020.
A major trial of a Johnson and Johnson vaccine is being conducted through UC San Diego. And Friday, National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis participated in that trial.

The search for a breakthrough COVID-19 vaccine continues and National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis wants to be a part of that search.

Sotelo-Solis joined the UC San Diego Health and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial on Friday, National Kindness Day.

National City Mayor Rolls Up Her Sleeve For COVID-19 Vaccine
Listen to this story by Tania Thorne.

“This morning I will be joining a cohort of 2,000 individuals regionally and 60,000 nationally who have volunteered to find a vaccine for COVID 19,” she said.

She hopes that by receiving the vaccine, the citizens of National City will trust the science and look forward to participating when a vaccine is available.

“COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives and I want to demonstrate that I trust the science," Sotelo-Solis said in a statement. "And in this Phase III vaccine trial, I willingly participate as a Latina, mom, wife, daughter, cancer survivor and proud leader from a working-class community that has been disproportionately impacted by this contagious virus. I will be part of the solution.”

Video: National City Mayor Joins COVID19 Vaccine Trial

The South Bay has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, with National City having one of the highest case rates in the county, according to the County of San Diego’s COVID-19 data.

Dr. Katherine Promer with UC San Diego Health said they hope the National City vaccine trial site will “get more of a representative population, so maybe a higher Hispanic community than other sites.”

The trial, which is expected to last two years, is emphasizing participation in underserved communities, particularly those of color, as they have had higher rates of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.

For her part, Sotelo-Solis will monitor her reaction to the vaccine and share her experience with health experts in the days to follow.

Corrected:
KPBS reporter Jacob Aere contributed to this report.