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COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics: Santa Barbara County Public Health, Dignity Health continue push for vaccinations

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Public Health continues to work around the clock to help get everyone in the community the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We're working day and night ... really to make sure that we can help keep the community safe," said ELC program manager Matt Higghs with Santa Barbara County Public Health.

In order to do this, the county public health’s goal isn’t just to get some people vaccinated. They want to get everyone vaccinated.

"That we can help to save lives, and get the county back to normal," said Higgs.

One of the reasons why county public health opened the vaccine clinic at Fairpark in Santa Maria is to make sure everyone has access to the vaccine.

"Farmworkers are starting to come in … field workers are starting to come in … so I feel like the word is getting out … which is really nice because that part of our community is lacking," said LVN vaccine administrator Lesley Brown with Santa Barbara County Public Health.

The difference in vaccination rates between northern and southern Santa Barbara County has gone on for months.

Back in April, a south coast supervisor called it a racial issue.

"Brown people living in the north county are being left behind, because they're not vaccinated in the high numbers as my constituents who live in the south," said supervisor Das Williams of Santa Barbara County.

Vaccine administrators are working to address fears people may have over language barriers.

"We have Spanish speakers here … we have english speakers … and we even have somebody that signs … so it’s really nice that we have that wide variety of communication for them," said Brown.

Others may be hesitant because of preconceived notions of how the shot will feel.

"Yes a lot of people are scared of getting vaccinated because of the pain but really it’s pretty painless most people don’t even know it’s been done," said Brown.

Dignity Heath continues to collaborate with public health to make sure there is enough access to the vaccine.

"The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has distributed tens of thousands of vaccines in northern Santa Barbara County … Dignity Health’s in partnership with specific central coast clinics has administered over 12,000 doses of vaccines," said Dr. Scott Robertson with Marian Regional Medical Center.

At the Santa Maria Fairpark vaccine clinic, there are plenty of openings if you still need to get vaccinated.

"So our peak has been just under 300 vaccinations at the site in a single day … but we have capacity to do up to 1200 vaccinations at the site … so we’re encouraging everybody to get out here and get vaccinated … we are more than willing to stay and work and take care of our our community," said Brown.

California / Coronavirus / Health / Lifestyle / Safety / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / Video
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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.

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