SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Some of Santa Barbara County’s first recipients of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine received a second round of inoculations on Thursday.
Cottage Hospital staff got their first doses three weeks ago. Now, more than 150 medical workers received their second and final dose of the vaccine.
So far, more than 3,000 staff members at Cottage Health have been vaccinated with their first dose, but according to clinical trial studies, the second dose is most effective when administered three weeks apart.
Cottage Hospital’s Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons was one of the first to receive the initial doses. And she encourages everyone to get their vaccines as soon as they are available to them.
She also said, with multiple vaccines now available, it’s important to know which one you get and that you follow up with the second dose of the same vaccine when it is time to do so.
Those who received their second dose of the vaccine should be experiencing a 95% effectiveness from the virus in about one week.
“What we don’t yet know is how long this protection is going to last but we do know that by giving a second dose, it is very likely that this protection is going to last much much longer,” said Dr. Fitzgibbons
On a good year, the flu vaccine is only about 50% effective, so the 95% effectiveness of the COVID vaccine after the second dose is a huge win for these health care workers.
This new round of vaccines comes as Santa Barbara County and California are seeing record COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Healthcare workers are expecting the surge to last for weeks following the holiday season. They are urging residents to stay home as much as possible, limit gatherings and continue wearing masks.
For a daily breakdown of COVID-19 cases throughout Santa Barbara County, click here.