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Coronavirus

More outreach expected to get Santa Barbara County residents to vaccination clinics

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Santa Barbara County says it is seeing a slowdown in the demand for the COVID-19 vaccination and the county currently has a large supply ready.

Currently, 47.1% of the county has been given a first dose of the vaccine. 33% of the county is fully vaccinated.

In a report to the Board of Supervisors, Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso said there is an abundance of vaccine appointments. "It remains that 53 percent of the population has not received any vaccines."

"We are making it super convenient by going to different communities, on different hours and different days," Do-Reynoso said.

She worries that 53% of the county has not had their first shot yet.

Supervisor Greg Hart said the coronavirus is "far from contained." Looking at the impact the virus continues to make across the globe, Hart said, "we have a challenge ahead of us."

He suggested the county get into the "persuasion business to convince people that is it's safe and important to do so."

Supervisor Joan Hartmann said she was fully vaccinated and can plan a vacation this summer. She said the county needs to double its number of fully vaccinated residents.

The numbers are increasing weekly, but there needs to be a much higher level of participation and Supervisor Das Williams described the current statistics as "wholly insufficient." He said a lack of participation makes vaccine management more difficult.

Williams said he volunteered at a vaccination site this week in the Hilton Beachfront Resort to get a first hand feel for the system.

There will be more community specific vaccination sites going forward including one on Thursday at the UC Santa Barbara Health Department parking lot. On Saturday there will be a clinic at the Lompoc Outdoor Community Market and at the Carpinteria Children's Project on 8th Street. Sunday there will be a special clinic at the Goleta Valley Community Center.

Hart reminded the public, "you don't have to look very far around the world to see that this virus is far from contained."

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about John, click here.

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