SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg chatted with Joe Buttitta during NewsChannel 3's Midday show to provide an update on the coronavirus pandemic as part of our weekly discussion series with the public health department.
Dr. Ansorg said the county is currently following CDC and California guidelines by not requiring masks outdoors, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated.
However, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are asked to continue wearing masks and social distance on public transportation and when traveling until June 15.
Dr. Ansorg said the big wait for June 15 is to allow more people to get vaccinated. He said, at this time, about 60% of the county's population that is currently eligible to get vaccinated has received at least one shot. Public Health is hoping for that number to increase to 70 or even 80% by June 15. That way even more people will be immune to the virus.
The health officer also provided an update on vaccines in young teens. The Pfizer vaccine was authorized by the FDA to be administered to kids ages 12 to 15 last Thursday and by the weekend, Santa Barbara County had administered over 3,000 shots to community members in that age range.
In an effort to continue vaccinated young people, Dr. Ansorg said several vaccine clinics are coming to local schools. On Thursday, a clinic was held at Righetti High School in Orcutt. On May 25 to 27, a clinic will come to Santa Barbara High and on May 27 to 28 a clinic will visit Mary Buren Elementary in Guadalupe.
Students only need written consent signed by a parent to get the vaccine.
Dr. Ansorg said, of the 3,000 teens vaccinated so far, none have shown adverse reactions.
He said families can look forward to traveling safely once they are fully vaccinated this summer.