SAN DIEGO – It has been three weeks since the first COVID-19 vaccine has been delivered to San Diego County, which means many recipients are due for their second shot.
The second shot must be taken 21 days after the first dose to complete immunization.
More than 70% of eligible Scripps Health employees now have been vaccinated, according to the health system. Jamaal Favors, a housekeeper at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, said it’s a clear sign of progress.
“We’re all overjoyed,” Favors said. “There’s a lot of people in my department who can’t wait to take it either.”
In a town hall Thursday, San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency Director Nick Macchione said the county is working with hospitals to continue administering vaccines. He said they’re picking up the pace in working with local municipalities to vaccinate paramedics.
“The importance of the paramedics and emergency response is that paramedics, through the state of California, can also administrate the vaccine, so we’re trying to build that workforce,” Macchione said.
Commercial pharmacies CVS and Walgreens also are contracted by the federal government to administer the vaccine for skilled nursing facilities and long-term care facilities.
Once that is completed, the goal is to make it more widely available.
“We are hoping — and I say hope — because we don’t know that definitely they will then be offering vaccinations like they do the seasonal flu at the pharmacies,” Macchione said.
Eventually, there will be Points of Distribution, referred to as PODS, in all areas of San Diego County, said Dr. Denise Foster, chief nursing officer at the County Health and Human Services Agency.
“Some [will be] very large, some smaller to reach different parts of our community that may have difficulty with transportation or other needs,” Foster said.
As of Thursday, San Diego County remains in an early phase of the vaccine rollout including administering the shot to some 500,000 health care workers considered at high risk. The next eligible group for the vaccine includes educators and childcare workers.
More information the county’s COVID-19 vaccine process can be found here.