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SAN DIEGO – More than 140,000 San Diegans who have received their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are overdue for their second dose, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported Thursday.

The recommended spacing of doses is three weeks for the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for the Moderna vaccine, but officials say late is better than never.

“These vaccines are the way to get to the end of the pandemic. It is quickly becoming a pandemic of unvaccination,” Sharp HealthCare Family Medicine Dr. Abisola Olulade explained.

A single dose of either vaccine is significantly less effective at protecting people from getting sick, especially against the new variants of the virus, and county health officials are encouraging those overdue to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Completing the full two-dose series of the vaccine is recommended, regardless of how long ago a person received their first shot.

“When you don’t get your second dose, essentially what you’re doing is just not getting that full protection,” Dr. Olulade said.

“What I’ve heard patients say to me is that, ‘Well the side effects I just didn’t like, so I didn’t get my second one,” she continued. “It’s important that you don’t let that get in the way.”

Everyone 12 years and older is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. Go to the county’s website for a full list of hours and locations of vaccine sites in the county.

Almost all COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths reported in San Diego County in 2021 occurred among residents who are not fully vaccinated, county officials announced Wednesday.

Data released from the HHSA shows that since Jan. 1, COVID-19 has nearly exclusively occurred among residents who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. They represent 99.8% of deaths, 99.88% of hospitalizations and 99.1% of cases.

Since Jan. 1, a total of 1,219 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the region but only three were county residents who had been fully vaccinated.

Of the 5,159 hospitalizations that have occurred during the same period, only 10 were in people who were fully immunized. Of 106,000 COVID-19 cases reported since the beginning of this year, only about 1,000 were among county residents who were fully vaccinated.

Two new deaths were reported between June 30 and Tuesday, increasing the county’s total to 3,782. Both of the most recent deaths reported were among those 80 years and older and with underlying medical conditions. They died June 19 and June 29.

A total of 102 COVID-19 cases were reported by the county on Wednesday, increasing its total to 283,376.

San Diego County’s case rate is 2.5 cases per 100,000 residents as of this week’s data. A total of 3,621 tests were reported by the county on Wednesday, and the percentage of new positive cases was 2.8%. The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases among tests is 1.5%.

Nine new community outbreaks were confirmed in the past seven days — two in faith-based settings, two in restaurant/bar settings and one each in a residence, grocery setting, business setting, fitness/gym setting and a retail setting.

“We certainly don’t want to get a false sense of security. The virus is still very much here and it’s actually gotten worse over time. It’s now actually a lot more dangerous and it’s posing a very significant risk,” Dr. Olulade said.

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