SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — More than 140,000 San Diegans who have received their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are overdue for their second dose, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported Thursday.
The recommended spacing of doses is three weeks for the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for the Moderna vaccine.
A single dose of either vaccine is significantly less effective at protecting people from getting sick, especially against the new variants of the virus, and county health officials are encouraging those overdue to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Completing the full two-dose series of the vaccine is recommended, regardless of how long ago a person received their first shot.
"A single dose of those vaccines is only 33% effective against the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19, which has become the most prevalent strain of the virus in the United States and is likely to become more prevalent locally," said Denise Foster, the county's chief nursing officer and COVID-19 clinical director. "San Diegans who are overdue for their second shot should take action as soon as possible to lower their risk of getting or spreading the virus."
Everyone 12 years and older is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. For a full list of hours and locations of vaccine sites in the county, click here.
Almost all COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths reported in San Diego County in 2021 occurred among residents who are not fully vaccinated, county officials announced Wednesday.
“What it means is that there are people spreading a more transmissible, potentially more deadly virus, without realizing it. It can only delay the end of the pandemic,” said Dr. Abisola Olulade with Sharp Hospital in San Diego.
Data released from the HHSA shows that since Jan. 1, COVID-19 has nearly exclusively occurred among residents who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. They represent 99.8% of deaths, 99.88% of hospitalizations and 99.1% of cases.
"The data shows what we've known all along. The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing serious illness and deaths," said Dr. Seema Shah, medical director of HHSA's epidemiology and immunization services branch.
"If you have not gotten vaccinated or are missing a second shot of your COVID-19 vaccine, do be safe and limit the spread of this virus."
Since Jan. 1, a total of 1,219 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the region but only three were county residents who had been fully vaccinated.
Of the 5,159 hospitalizations that have occurred during the same period, only 10 were in people who were fully immunized. Of 106,000 COVID-19 cases reported since the beginning of this year, only about 1,000 were among county residents who were fully vaccinated.
Two new deaths were reported between June 30 and Tuesday, increasing the county's total to 3,782. Both of the most recent deaths reported were among those 80 years and older and with underlying medical conditions. They died June 19 and June 29.
A total of 102 COVID-19 cases were reported by the county on Wednesday, increasing its total to 283,376.
San Diego County's case rate is 2.5 cases per 100,000 residents as of this week's data. A total of 3,621 tests were reported by the county on Wednesday, and the percentage of new positive cases was 2.8%. The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases among tests is 1.5%.
Nine new community outbreaks were confirmed in the past seven days -- two in faith-based settings, two in restaurant/bar settings and one each in a residence, grocery setting, business setting, fitness/gym setting and a retail setting.
“Life happens for a lot of people, and they may forget. I also think that people are starting to let their guard down. There’s a false sense of security because restrictions are going away and we’re starting to see that life is getting back to normal but this a virus that isn’t going away,” Olulade said.
WATCH RELATED: 3 post-vaccination COVID-19 deaths confirmed in San Diego County (June 2021)