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Santa Barbara - South County

Half of all Santa Barbara County residents are fully vaccinated

Half of all Santa Barbara County residents are fully vaccinated
Medicine Shoppe
Tracy Lehr

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reached a milestone with 50 percent of the county's population fully vaccinated.

Better still, the county is near 70 percent among people eligible with at least one dose. The figure does not include children 12 and under.

The county still has clinics on the calendar this month in Santa Maria, Goleta and Santa Barbara to help residents get their second and final dose.

When those clinics wind down, doctors and pharmacies will still be offering the vaccines for free.

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy on State Street in Santa Barbara has given hundreds of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Pharmacy Technician Torian Thomasco said, "We have done about 300 vaccines so far and we are still doing a couple everyday."

He said people heading to amusement parks and trips are coming in and getting vaccinated quickly. He said he wants people to know they don't have to be insured or provide proof of citizenship.

The pharmacy wants people to know it is convenient and free of charge.

While the effort is underway to get more people vaccinated, now that the state has reopened for business, there are people who refuse to do so.

Caroline Abate said, "After careful consideration I have decided I will not be getting the COVID vaccine at this time, as a younger and healthier individual, I feel that the risks of getting the vaccine are far greater than any benefit I would receive."

Abate said it is important that each person decides for themselves.

Chiropractor Dr. Hesu Whitten agrees. The self-described medical freedom advocate said,"They are still pushing it even on children and pregnant women. No amount of money could coerce me to take this shot."

Vaccine supporters are concerned about misleading information and lies that have been debunked.

Tina Ramos said one of her older children won't get vaccinated because of the misinformation.

Ramos who got vaccinated and still wears a mask said she is worried about the more contagious Delta variant.

"We already vaccinated everyone who is 12 and older and today I just got my 19 year old vaccinated," said Ramos.

Her daughter Vanessa Ramos said,"I went to the CVS pharmacy, got my COVID vaccination. It didn't hurt that much, yeah, it's pretty cool."

For more information about county-operated vaccine clinics visit the county's COVID-19 vaccine information page.

Coronavirus / Health / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / Video
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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