SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – Santa Barbara County leaders are concerned as more South County residents are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 than North County residents.
According Santa Barbara Public Health's Community Data Dashboard, 21.2% of South County residents are fully vaccinated. Only 13.6% North County residents are fully vaccinated.
"Many of our South County educators and various sectors got vaccinated in another southern location in other counties. Whether that's in LA or Ventura County, when we list that number, it does take that into account, Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said.
Public Health leaders say age, socioeconomic status, access to technology and language barriers could be other reasons for the gap.
They're adding more resources to the North County to help close the gap.
"We're calling them strike teams. The mission of this strike team is to serve vulnerable populations. We will be approaching churches. We will be approaching congregate living areas. We will be approaching residential facilities," Do-Reynoso said.
The City of Santa Santa Maria is also helping to get the word out.
"We are putting out the information on the city website and on social media. We are also providing city personnel at the vaccination site to assist the county," Santa Maria spokesman Mark van de Kamp said.