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Santa Barbara County struggles with slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Vandenberg Air Force Base COVID-19 Vaccine Vaccination
Michael Peterson / U.S. Space Force
Over 20,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered throughout Santa Barbara County.

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — More than 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered throughout Santa Barbara County.

The public health department’s vaccination clinics are averaging around 100 injections per hour at each sight.

“The person’s who have the highest risk of suffering deadly outcomes from these infections are the first in line for the vaccine,” public health officer Henning Ansorg said.

Yet this isn’t enough, as the county hovers around 2% of the vaccinations needed in order to reach herd immunity.

“We’ve ordered everything that we’ve been allocated,” public health director Van Do-Reynoso said. “We’ve said loud and clear that it’s not sufficient.”

Right now, only Phase 1A is able get vaccinated — mainly frontline healthcare workers along with those age 75 and older — while other essential workers must wait.

“We are completely dependent on the supply chain that’s coming directly from the federal government,” Ansorg said.

After a worrisome winter, the county’s case rate and test positivity peaked on January 9th.

“While case rate and test positivity remain high, they have been decreasing over the past 13 days,” Van Do-Reynoso said.

However, a new strain of the virus has health experts concerned.

“This virus has improved its ability to infect people,” Ansorg said.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” Van Do-Reynoso concluded. “We need everyone to maintain their diligence in all of the precautions.”

Santa Barbara County’s summer surge took nearly 3 months to die down.

Although new COVID-19 cases are decreasing, the winter peak may take even longer to taper off.

California / Community / Coronavirus / Economy / Education / Health / Lifestyle / Money and Business / Outdoors / Safe at Home / Santa Barbara - South County
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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.

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