SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -A new age bracket opened up for COVID19 vaccinations in Santa Barbara County, but the supply does not meet the demand.
Sansum Clinic Medical Director Marjorie Newman, M.D. said the bracket adds more than 40 thousand residents to the vaccine eligibility list.
“The supply is still so limited, the supply is erratic. We are only getting maybe a 1,000 or a few hundred doses a week, and now that it has expanded to those 65 and older we know that between the ages of 65 to 75 there are about 40,000 people in this community. So, when you compare that to how much vaccine we are actually getting we realize there is a huge imbalance and we are just hoping that more vaccine comes to us as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Newman.
The county is supposed to get about 6,000 doses a week but winter storms across the country have delayed deliveries.
Sansum is asking its patients to register for a wait list at covid19.sansumclinic.org.
“We are sending out messaging to all of our patients today indicating that they can sign up for an appointment or get on the wait list and as soon as we get vaccines we will reach out and get them scheduled,” said Dr. Newman.
She said their goal is to get the vaccine in every arm in the county as quickly as possible.
Santa Barbara County Public Heath has its own vaccination sites and is working to distribute Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to locations that include hospitals, clinics and some pharmacies.
People may feel some temporary side effects.
“That is a good sign, it means your immune system is working, it is doing what we want it to do, and it is so much better than getting sick and potentially worse with getting the actual disease.”
Newman said people who get vaccinated should still take COVID19 precautions.
“So while you wait for the vaccIne, and even after you get the vaccine, it is still so important to follow all of the public health guidance like wearing masks, washing hands, keeping surfaces clean, and social distancing.”
Some providers are making second doses a priority before making appointments available for first doses.
Younger people with conditions that put them at risk will be eligible for vaccines throughout the state on March 15.
No word yet on vaccination dates for teachers and other essential workers.
The vaccinations are free.
For more information visit publichealthsbc.org
On Tuesday afternoon the website said the 2-1-1 call center is experiencing a high volume of calls.