Push to vaccinate hardest-hit communities in San Diego


SAN DIEGO – The world’s COVID-19 death toll surpassed three million this weekend.

The race is on to contain the spread of the virus and its variants through vaccinations.

On Saturday, hundreds of vaccines were given out to San Diegans living in areas hit hardest by the pandemic, and it happened during the first weekend those 16 and older were eligible for the vaccine in California.

San Ysidro is one of those communities hit hardest by COVID-19 in San Diego.

“We still have a 17 percent unemployment rate in San Ysidro, so to me it was important that we get the word out about getting people vaccinated,” said Councilmember Vivian Moreno, who represents District 8.

Councilmember Moreno, along with several volunteers, went door-to-door to 2,500 San Ysidro homes this week to spread the word about the vaccine event Saturday at San Ysidro Middle School. The event was hosted by Councilmember Moreno, Family Health Centers of San Diego, and the San Diego Latino Equity Council.

“You know a lot of these people, their digital divide is absolutely real and getting a knock from somebody they trust like their councilmember is very important,” she said.

Between outreach and a phone line to help setup vaccine appointments in Spanish and English, around 700 appointments were made.

Across town there was another vaccination event at the Sons & Daughters of Guam Club hosted by many community partners. The event was aimed at yet another community hit hard by the pandemic. 

“Were trying to break down barriers so that our Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities can get their vaccine,” said JoAnn Fields with the API Initiative.

Among the API community, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have the highest cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County. Fields said it’s all about breaking down barriers to get more vaccines into this community.

“It is important to come into the community that they’re familiar with, are able to get to and have the language access if needed,” she said. 

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