Unboosted: California COVID-19 booster rates fall below 40%

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In summary

In 19 counties in California, less than one-third of vaccinated residents are boosted. In some counties, it is less than 25%. Health officials have accused “pandemic fatigue.”

The hospital has reached capacity. COVID-19 infection is at record high. The test line will stretch for hours. However, even if a variant of Omicron hits the state, only 38% of vaccinated Californians receive booster shots.

As with the first vaccination, the acceptance of booster shots varies throughout California. In the Mariposa, Corsa, and Merced counties, only 23% of vaccinated people are boosted, and in the far north and rural counties, the numbers are low. To Cal Matters analysis State data..

The Bay Area has the highest rate of 55%, with only three counties, San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo, increasing more than half of the vaccinated population. Less than one-third of eligible residents are backed by 19 counties in California.

Imperial County — Border Community Leading the state in vaccination rates last spring After being severely attacked by the virus — only a quarter of eligible residents received booster shots. Health officials there have accused “pandemic fatigue.”

“I think I’ve been tired everywhere, not just in Imperial County, after nearly two years of this pandemic,” said Dr. Stephen Monday, a medical officer. “People want to go back to normal life. They want to go to work, take care of their families. Well, well, I got my two doses, why I Do I have to get another dose? “

So far, the vast majority of people, such as Los Angeles, Khan, Santa Barbara, and 28 other counties, have refused to take additional shots, not just those in rural counties. The booster rate is lower than the average of 38% for the entire state. Major densely populated areas such as San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside are lagging behind.

“Don’t run and walk. Let’s get a booster.”

Dr. Rais Vohra, Fresno County Health Doctor

The state and federal recommendations for booster shots have changed several times, making them difficult for the general public to follow. Current guidance recommends boosters for all adults, but children up to the age of 12 can only get additional Pfizer shots. Children with immunodeficiency up to the age of 5 are also eligible for another dose of Pfizer.

According to George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, additional doses can double the protection against infection and are very effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalization for Omicron variants. It has been found to be effective in

“Don’t run and walk to get a booster,” said Dr. Wraith Bora, Fresno County Health Officer.

Most older people across the state listen to advice: almost 64% are backed up. In Marin County, 80% of the population aged 65 and over is boosted, and only four counties boost less than half of the elderly.

However, getting additional doses is much less common for young Californians. Only 47% of people between the ages of 50 and 64 are boosted. Forty-four counties helped less than half of the population in this age group.

“The surge in cases is mainly caused by unvaccinated people aged 25-45 years,” Rutherford said. “The majority of cases are seen here, and the majority of unvaccinated or unvaccinated people are here.”

Unlike the early days of the pandemic, where vaccines were restricted, slow booster uptake has little to do with availability. “We have a very strong supply,” said Monday, Imperial County Health Officer.

According to the State Health Department, the state’s stockpile is currently 5.6 million available doses — 39 days supply. MyTurn, the state vaccination portal, recently added a booster appointment for children ages 12-15.

“Omicron is here. We can’t give up the tools that made California one of the safest states across the pandemic. These are vaccines and boosters,” said Dr. Mark Garry, Secretary of Health and Welfare. Said in the latest information on Wednesday.

Hospitalizations for all patients are approaching 51,000, slightly below the maximum capacity reached during the surge last winter.about 8,000 of those patients are COVID-19 cases..

“For those who have not been vaccinated at all: Vaccine as soon as possible, and those who have been vaccinated but not boosted should consider boosting,” Ghaly said. rice field.

In Fresno, where COVID-19 encouraged the deployment of National Guard, many health care workers were unable to work due to exposure or infection of COVID-19, putting additional strain on the hospital system, officials said. ..

Currently, only one-third of eligible residents of Fresno County are backed up, according to state data.

“The growing vaccinated population is preventing Omicron infections very quickly,” said Vohra. “For unvaccinated people, they are basically very vulnerable people, people who land in hospitals and ICUs, so we are worried.”

Officials in the sparsely populated Mariposa County, north of Fresno, rely heavily on the state’s MyTurn portal to distribute booster shots. Less than a quarter of eligible residents are boosted.

County Health Officer Dr. Eric Sergienko said the mass vaccination clinic had subsided due to reduced demand in smaller communities, reduced resources, and privacy concerns.

“Rather than treating with hundreds of people, through MyTurn, 30-100 clinics are booked at the clinics scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday,” Sergienko said.

Cases and hospitalizations in Mariposa County are younger, with the majority of cases occurring between the ages of 20 and 40 and the majority of hospitalizations among unvaccinated people between the ages of 40 and 55, department spokeswoman Lizz Darcy said. I am saying.

According to experts, the surge in infectious diseases and hospitalizations across the state is expected to peak in the third week of January. Hospitalization is well below pre-vaccination levels.

Community organizations and health centers at the forefront of vaccine education and distribution say booster interest has increased during this current surge.

“Our community seems to be much more willing to receive boosters than to receive the first dose,” said a farm worker. Supporting the organization of clinics..

“The main challenges we have identified are individuals who do not know how long they have to wait to get a booster shot, whether they can get a booster different from the first vaccine, and want a booster only in the same case. People who are kind as their first dose. “

In agricultural counties like the Central Valley, workplace vaccine clinics played a key role in increasing access last spring. Due to the off-season for many crops, these booster events may not yet be visible. However, they are included in the plan, said Irene de Barraicua, Head of Operations for Lideres Campesinas, a non-profit network of agricultural workers based in Oxnard.

“I’ve heard from counties and workgroups that are enthusiastic about continuing these efforts,” she said.

Unboosted: California COVID-19 booster rates fall below 40% Source link Unboosted: California COVID-19 booster rates fall below 40%

The post Unboosted: California COVID-19 booster rates fall below 40% appeared first on California News Times.

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