SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — Santa Barbara County has set a new standard when it comes to delivering doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Supply is increasing and eligibility is expanding as the county's vaccine rollout picks up the pace.
As of today, around 45% of the county's population over the age of 16 has received at least one shot.
“The way to get out of this pandemic is by reaching a large percentage of the population to become immune to the virus,” public health officer Henning Ansorg said.
Yet, we're still a ways away from reaching herd immunity.
This would only occur if 85% of the county’s population were immune to the virus, either with vaccinations or recovery from infection.
“We need to convince the people who are not yet decided on whether or not they want to be vaccinated to make up their mind and got the shot,” Ansorg added.
By the end of April, county health experts expect over 60% of its eligible population to be vaccinated.
Next week, Santa Barbara County clinics will be administering the Pfizer vaccine in full force.
All appointments — nearly 9,000 in total — are completed booked.
On a week when Ventura County advanced into the less-restrictive orange tier, Santa Barbara County remains in the red tier.
“We unfortunately are still in the red tier and have been since March 16th,” public health director Van Do-Reynoso said. “We are hoping that the downward trend continues."
“If this trend continues we anticipate to get into the orange tier likely in 10 days,” Ansorg said.
If COVID-19 cases continue falling, this summer could look a lot different.
“We are well on our way to get behind the tier system altogether,” Ansorg concluded.
Earlier this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a plan to fully reopen California's economy on June 15 if current trends hold.