As of this week, Santa Barbara County has been allocated a total of 51,375 doses of COVID-19 vaccine — a ways away from being able to give two doses each to the county’s more than 26,000 health-care workers and 36,000 residents over the age of 75.
The county would need more than 124,000 doses to fully vaccinate the health-care workers and people over 75, and that’s just getting started. Those 65 and older and other upcoming vaccination groups are still far from being able to schedule their appointment. But although vaccines are scarce, the county is making do and vaccinating as many people as possible.
The county has allocated 22,525 vaccines to the hospitals. It’s allocated 18,700 vaccines to clinics, including the public health vaccine clinics. Pharmacies have received 3,200 vaccines and health-care providers have been allocated 400 vaccines. As a collective, this group has administered 74 percent of the vaccines, a mix of first and second doses. The remaining doses will be used in upcoming appointments over the next week.
“Since January 5, the county clinics alone have vaccinated a total of 7,271 people,” said Nick Clay, director of emergency services. “This represents only about 20 percent of the total vaccines that have been administered across the county.”
He added that the county-run clinics have vaccinated 2,202 people over the age of 75 and the rest were health-care workers. Over the next four weeks, the county clinics — not other vaccine providers in the county — will be shifting focus and only vaccinating people who need their second doses. Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said that those people can expect a call from public health inviting them back for a second dose.
Do-Reynoso also addressed the state of the virus transmission in the county. The data, from January 17 through 23, shows the county’s data has been slightly improving. This week, new weekly cases decreased by 23 percent; weekly active cases decreased by 17 percent; weekly deaths decreased by 47 percent; and weekly testing positivity decreased by 15 percent. However, new cases, deaths, active cases, and hospitalizations remain elevated.
Today there are 406 new cases. There are four new deaths, 1,612 active cases, 180 hospitalizations with 48 in an intensive care unit, and the county’s intensive care unit availability adjusted rate stands at 16.7.
“While these decreases I mentioned earlier are good and promising, they are still unacceptably high,” Do-Reynoso said. “This means that we still need to maintain our diligence in preventing the spread of disease in our county.”
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