California reaches 70% partially vaccinated as San Diego booster effort continues
Speaker 1: (00:00)
California has reached a considerable vaccine milestone with 70% of the state's population. Now inoculated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while the number itself is a hopeful sign for an increasing rate of vaccination across the state, millions remain only partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all as the winter months, approach health experts warm that this lack of strengthened immunity among so many in California could very well lead to another surge of cases here now to discuss how efforts have gone locally is KPBS health reporter, Matt Hoffman, Matt. Welcome back. How does San Diego's vaccination rate compare to the statewide rate?
Speaker 2: (00:42)
Actually a little bit higher, uh, you know, the statewide rate, as you mentioned now, clocking in at 70%, uh, in San Diego county, we're looking at 81%, almost 82% of people that have at least one dose. So that's a pretty high number. And then if you look at fully vaccinated, uh, you know, the statewide rate a little bit higher than 66%, um, in San Diego county, uh, it's about 73%
Speaker 1: (01:04)
San Diego, still a leader in the state when it comes to having its residents vaccinated.
Speaker 2: (01:09)
Definitely. I mean, even just looking at those numbers were higher than the statewide average. We're one of the counties that's helping bring that up. There are some smaller counties that do have some higher vaccination rates than San Diego, but definitely a leader in California.
Speaker 1: (01:21)
I have recently expanded efforts to vaccinate children aged five to 11 in San Diego gone so far.
Speaker 2: (01:27)
Yeah. So we've had a little bit of time. Uh, we, we have gotten some data from county health officials, uh, that tell us, uh, over 7,000 kids ages five to 11, uh, have gotten at least their first dose, uh, of the Pfizer vaccine. Um, and you know, just, just anecdotally, um, you know, we were out at the county LivWell center in Chula Vista yesterday. And while there was this significant, good amount of people there trying to get their booster shots. Um, the, the majority of people that were there, it was parents and kids, um, who were there to get vaccinated. Um, and it is, you know, we talked to one gentleman who's there from, uh, from Mexico. He came from Tijuana. Um, they're not vaccinating kids over 18 there. So it's going to take some time for people. Cause you know, they have to, you know, either give their permission if it's a school that with like a permission slip or actually bring their kids. So a slow going process, but there was a lot of kids in line, how are
Speaker 1: (02:16)
For us to distribute booster shots going in San Diego county,
Speaker 2: (02:20)
Going slower than the rollout, uh, for vaccines originally, right. Um, you know, we're not seeing any of the, the super big, large super stations. Most of the booster shots, uh, a tip to check ahead, you, you likely need an appointment or there are some county sites that are offering walk-ins, but you're gonna want to check their website. Sometimes it's only on certain days, um, sort of a slow rollout. Um, but there are people, you know, um, that are getting them,
Speaker 1: (02:43)
You've done some reporting on San Diego residents and their reasoning behind getting a booster shot. What are you hearing from people in the committee?
Speaker 2: (02:50)
Definitely talking to the people that are over the, you know, 65 and older group, they're getting it because, you know, not only does the CDC recommend that that group gets it, but because they say that they trust the science and they're following the science. And what we hear from a lot of people is that they're getting it because they just want to be as protected as possible from this virus. We know, especially in older people, that immunity can wane quicker than some of the younger people. So that's basically why they're getting it to be as protected as possible
Speaker 1: (03:14)
Nationally. There's been some confusion over who's actually eligible for a booster. Are we seeing that here in San Diego?
Speaker 2: (03:20)
Well, you know, we may have been seeing some of that before when the CDC was sort of saying, you know, okay, you know, older people can get it, you know, people at work in some high-risk settings, but just, just recently last Friday, the state's public health director, you know, put out a notice saying, you know, don't turn away anyone. So now in California, if you're over the age of 18 and it's been at least six months since your dose, you can go in there and get your booster shot. Uh, sort of no questions asked, you know, you don't have to provide any proof of having an underlying medical condition, even though before I think it was just self at test station. Anyway,
Speaker 1: (03:49)
What kind of rhetoric are we hearing from local health officials about the need to get boosters and get younger children vaccinated?
Speaker 2: (03:56)
Yeah. You know, when boosters were first rolled out, they sort of said, Hey, if you're eligible for a booster, go and get it. So they definitely want people to get a booster, especially as we approach some of the holidays, uh, where we know, you know, we've seen cases go up in the past. Obviously this year could be a little bit different, uh, with that vaccination wall, but they're definitely encouraging, you know, parents to go out there and bring some of their kids out. Uh, we do know that nationally, uh, the federal government's launching a campaign, not only targeting children, but targeting their parents too. And trying to address some of that misinformation. That's maybe feeling some vaccine hesitancy among adults, our
Speaker 1: (04:29)
Local physicians and health officials worried about a winter
Speaker 2: (04:32)
Surge. I think there's always a worry about a winter surge. Um, especially, you know, hearing from the governor saying, you know, cases are starting to increase when sort of the way governor Newsome puts it. As you know, this is sort of simple, you know, we saw this happened before we know how the virus acts. Now we know a lot more about the virus, how contagious it can be, you know, in some of these indoor spaces. Um, and if there's, you know, some gatherings this holiday where there's a lot of people that are unmasked and somebody has it, um, it can spread, uh, definitely extremely fast. Um, so it's something that, that they're definitely monitoring, but keep in mind, Jane, I mean, you know, here in San Diego county, you know, 73% of residents are fully vaccinated. So there is a wall of vaccination, but we know what the Delta variant, how contagious it is. You know, experts have said that the virus will find those people who are unvaccinated. It's just a question of is that a, you know, enough people to sort of overwhelm the hospitals like we saw during the last winter search
Speaker 1: (05:23)
And finally, a breaking news justice morning. Pfizer said it is asking us regulators to authorize its experimental pill for COVID-19, which has been shown to cut hospitalizations and deaths. Given what we know, how long do you suspect that process of getting authorized, uh, of getting an authorization to take?
Speaker 2: (05:42)
I think it's definitely going to be a sped up process. So I think like we saw with the vaccines, you know, they want to maintain the integrity of the process, but they also want to make sure that if it is a saving drug, if it is a you recipe that they want to get it to people
Speaker 1: (05:54)
I've been speaking with KPBS health reporter, Matt Hoffman, Matt, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks, shade.
California has reached a considerable vaccine milestone, with 70% of the state’s population now inoculated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
While the number itself is a hopeful sign for an increasing rate of vaccination across the state, millions remain partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all.
With indoor holiday get-togethers approaching and not enough people fully vaccinated, health experts warn that we could be in for another surge of cases.
In San Diego County, the distribution of booster doses and vaccinations for children aged 5-11 is going at a steady pace, but slower than the initial two-dose vaccination effort.
KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman joined Midday Edition on Tuesday with more on the state milestone and San Diego's ongoing efforts.