SAN DIEGO — Two of the region’s most prominent leaders, Mayor Todd Gloria and Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher, were vaccinated for COVID-19 Thursday and encouraged other San Diegans to do the same as California lifted virtually all eligibility requirements for the shots.
Gloria got his shot at a Balboa Park site run in part by local fire officials. Fletcher, an Iraq war veteran, got his at a VA San Diego health care site.
Any Californian 16 and up can now receive a vaccination if they haven’t already, Gov. Gavin Newsom says, after meeting metrics designed to make sure that some of the state’s hardest-hit and most underprivileged communities had received advanced access.
That leaves supply as the major obstacle to residents getting appointments: Fletcher warned in a briefing Wednesday that San Diegans should be patient as a rush of would-be recipients crowd the county’s website for vaccinations and look to pharmacies and health care providers for others.
The squeeze on supply, which has always been the primary limiting factor for vaccine rates in San Diego, according to officials, is amplified by a temporary pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s availability as the Centers for Disease Control and other health agencies investigate extremely rare cases of blood clot complications in patients who recently received the shot, which may or may not be linked to the vaccine.
Supply of the J & J shot was already going to be limited in California and across the nation as the supply chain caught up to a recent manufacturing error at a manufacturing plant in Baltimore that wasted millions of doses.
Still, Newsom and other state leaders have voiced an optimistic tone, touting that the Golden State has administered the highest number of doses in the country, and saying California anticipates availability of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to only increase as time goes on.
The state is aiming for a relatively complete reopening of the economy by June 15.