If you receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you will need two shots to get the optimal protection.
(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – In order to focus vaccination efforts on populations of greatest need, the County Public Health Department is adjusting their community vaccination strategy. COVID-19 vaccines are widely available through local pharmacies and healthcare providers in south and mid county, however there remains a gap for vaccine appointment availability in the Santa Maria area. To address this need, beginning May 16, the County Public Health Department will provide a COVID-19 community vaccination clinic at Santa Maria Fairpark, and will continue to provide mobile vaccination clinics through the county. Approximately 6,000 doses per week will be allocated to these clinics. While County Public Health will no longer provide mass vaccination clinics in Santa Barbara or Lompoc, these communities will continue to offer vaccines via mobile vaccination clinics. Other vaccination locations including hospitals, pharmacies, and community providers will also continue vaccination efforts.
Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12-15 years old. Vaccination opportunities will be offered in all areas of Santa Barbara County to accommodate for this expansion of eligibility. The County Public Health Department will partner with local schools to provide vaccination clinics on school campuses, beginning with sites located in North County as early as next week.
“Santa Barbara County has fully vaccinated over 49% of all eligible residents. Case rates, hospitalizations, and deaths have all plummeted. We are encouraged by the progress we have made as a county and as a community,” shared Van Do-Reynoso, County Public Health Director. “There is more work to do, and the County Public Health Department will be here to support and provide vaccines to our residents as we move to end this pandemic over the coming months.”
The Santa Maria Fairpark location will be open Sunday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through the end of July. For appointments at this location visit https://myturn.ca.gov. This location and all Public Health vaccination locations accept walk ins. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit https://publichealthsbc.org or call 2-1-1 and select option 4. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health
1) Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will keep you from getting sick. The available vaccines are very effective in preventing infection and illness from COVID-19. In very rare cases where one does catch the virus, the vaccine will prevent you from becoming seriously ill or needing to be hospitalized.
2) Those who choose to be vaccinated can enjoy more activities. According to the CDPH, can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single other household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
- Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
- Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
- Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
- Refrain from routine screening testing if asymptomatic and feasible
3) Getting vaccinated helps our entire community. Returning to a more fully opened lifestyle will require herd immunity, which most experts estimate will happen when between 75%-85% of the United States population is vaccinated. We all need to do our part to achieve herd immunity by getting vaccinated.
4) Protecting yourself by getting vaccinated also protects those around you, including those at increased risk of severe illness from the virus, or those who can’t get vaccinated such as infants or people with weakened immune systems from things such as chemotherapy for cancer.
5) COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The effectiveness of our available vaccines in preventing infection, severe illness and death from COVID-19 is remarkably high. The safety of the vaccines are a top priority and we have procedures in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use.
For more information about the COVID-19 guidance and the local response, please visit https://publichealthsbc.org. For those that need assistance in making vaccination appointments, please call 2-1-1 option 4 in Santa Barbara County.