(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – As California begins to fully reopen, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department launched a public service campaign, urging all eligible Santa Barbara County residents to get the COVID-19 vaccination. The public service campaign features video testimonials from North and South County physicians, journalists, and community members who share their reasons for getting the vaccine.  

“When the pandemic hit, the clinical trials were able to be employed quickly and efficiently, and within a small number of months we had a lot of very good safety data. We have good systems in place to look for adverse effects and side effects,” said Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons, Chair of Infectious Diseases at Cottage Health.   

County resident Brittany Watts is currently getting her master’s degree in cell biology and microbiology. She’s also seven months pregnant. “After looking at the data, me and my doctor both decided it would be the safest route for me to get vaccinated and this would really protect me and also my baby,” stated Watts. 

Although COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the County, according to Santa Barbara County public health director Van Do-Reynoso there are still nearly one in three community members who are over twelve years of age that have not been vaccinated. 

Santa Barbara County public health officer Henning Ansorg emphasized that all current patients battling COVID-19, including three in the ICU, decided not to receive a vaccination. “We now see that almost all patients who are requiring hospital care and ICU admissions are unvaccinated people,” Ansorg explained.

The county-wide campaign is part of the Health Department’s ongoing efforts to increase public knowledge of crucial actions to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe. 

“There are currently 22 community partners doing outreach and education throughout the county to increase vaccination rates,” said Do-Reynoso. Throughout the pandemic more than 43,000 County residents have registered to receive E-newsletters, and the Public Health department sent more than 100 COVID-related E-newsletters. 

“Getting your COVID-19 vaccine- it’s not just about you. It’s about protecting the people that you love- your family and your friends. It’s about getting our communities back to normal,” said Dr. Alicia Gonzalez, the medical director for emergency medicine at Marian Regional Medical Center. 

To watch full video testimonials and schedule your vaccine appointment, visit the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department website: https://publichealthsbc.org/


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