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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Nearly 80,000 storm-delayed vaccine doses began arriving Tuesday night in the San Diego area, allowing for the rescheduling of all missed second doses and the widespread resumption of first-dose appointments, according to county officials.

The vaccine quantities represent the doses expected this week and those delayed last week by severe winter storms elsewhere in the United States.

San Diego County public health officials reported 454 new COVID-19 cases and 29 more deaths from the pandemic Tuesday as a new vaccination site opened in Otay Mesa and an inoculation “super station” at Petco Park reopened following a five-day closure caused by weather-related delays in shipments of doses.

The additional instances of the novel coronavirus disease raised the region’s total number of cases to 257,805 and upped the fatality toll to 3,218.

The vaccination site at the San Diego Padres’ downtown ballpark, San Diego County’s largest inoculation center, had been closed since Thursday, with severe weather that affected much of the nation delaying shipments of vaccine from the Midwest and East Coast. Petco Park uses only the Moderna vaccine, while other sites use Pfizer, or both.

Appointments for second doses of the vaccine Friday through Monday were canceled and will be automatically rescheduled, UC San Diego Health officials said. People who had appointments are asked to check the MyUCSDChart website for updates.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that people can wait up to 42 days between doses and still achieve maximum immunity.

The new Otay Mesa vaccination site will administer doses from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and be open Sunday through Thursday at the Border View Family YMCA, 3601 Arey Drive. The clinic will start with a capacity to administer up to 500 doses daily, but can expand to 1,000 shots each day.

Additionally, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department has begun scheduling appointments for a vaccination station at Balboa Municipal Gym, 2111 Pan American Plaza in Balboa Park. Time slots are available for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and can be secured online at vaccination.

On Sunday, a site will open in Lemon Grove, operating from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sundays and Mondays. The site will be at the Lemon Grove Community Center, 3146 School Lane. When fully operational, the Lemon Grove clinic will be able to administer 500 doses daily.

The county’s adjusted rate of daily new COVID cases dropped to 15 per 100,000 residents, according to state data released Tuesday. The county is still in the most restrictive “purple” tier of the state’s four-tier economic reopening system.

To move out of “purple” and into the less restrict “red” tier, the county’s new case rate must drop to seven per 100,000 residents. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate already qualifies for the “red” tier, at a state-adjusted 5%, but the county must meet all required metrics before advancing out of the “purple” tier.

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