County public health officials are renewing their call for San Diegans to get vaccinated and braced against COVID-19 as the colder months approach. Respiratory illnesses historically increase in the fall and winter as many people move activities and gatherings indoors.
Recent local data show the value of vaccines against COVID-19, highlighting that those who are vaccinated and boosted are significantly less likely to die from complications of COVID-19.
In the first seven months of this year, from January 1 to July 31, 912 San Diegans died from COVID-19. Of these 912, 498 individuals did not complete the primary series of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines. A total of 42 people received only one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and the remaining 456 individuals did not receive any vaccine doses. Individuals believed to be unvaccinated accounted for 54 percent of the total number of deaths.
Of the remaining deaths, 281 completed the primary series and 133 had an additional booster dose. 80 percent of the 3.3 million San Diegans six months or older have completed the primary series. Two vaccinations of these vaccines are required to complete the primary series and be considered fully vaccinated.
For the period between Aug. 14 and Sept. 10 of this year, the most recent period for which complete statistics are available, the death rate for San Diegans who did not complete the primary series of vaccines was 0.94 per million residents. This death rate was five times higher than those who completed the primary series and received a booster (0.18 per one million county residents).
“Vaccination remains the best way to prevent severe outcomes and death from COVID-19,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s deputy public health officer. “We especially encourage those who are eligible to get the new bivalent booster, as it is specifically designed to protect people from the viral variants currently circulating in our community.” These variants and their relatives are expected to be with us over the holidays.”
In addition to vaccination, there are a number of precautions San Diegans can take to protect themselves from COVID-19, as well as seasonal illnesses like the flu. These measures include:
- Washing hands thoroughly and often;
- Staying away from sick people;
- Staying at home and avoiding contact with others when you are sick;
- Wearing a well-fitting face covering when around others, especially in crowded indoors; and
- Regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
Bivalent boosters are available for children ages 5 and up
The California Department of Public Health has updated its Emergency Use Authorization for the updated COVID-19 boosters in California to include younger children. Eligibility for the Moderna bivalent booster now extends to persons 6 years of age and older, and eligibility for the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent booster now extends to persons 5 years of age and older.
Boosters will be available through healthcare providers and participating pharmacies. Parents should visit the state’s My Turn website to schedule an appointment.
San Diego County Public Health Services expects to receive boosters for children in the coming days and expects to be able to begin administering them as soon as Saturday in select locations. Booster dose availability will be listed on the county’s COVID-19 website.
The updated boosters are designed to protect people from the worst outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. Anyone over the age of 5 who has received a primary vaccination series is eligible to receive the updated booster two months after each COVID vaccine or booster dose.
- Nearly 2.69 million, or 80.4%, of San Diegans have received the primary series of one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines.
- Boosters applied: 1,473,096 or 59.8% of 2,465,357 eligible San Diegans.
- More information about vaccinations can be found at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.
- Nine additional deaths have been reported since the last report on October 6, 2022. The total for the region is 5,507.
- Of the nine additional deaths, four were female and five were male. They died between September 25, 2022 and October 2, 2022.
- Five of those who died were 80 or older, three were in their 70s and one was in their 60s.
- Six are fully vaccinated and three are unvaccinated.
- Eight had underlying medical conditions and one had pending medical conditions.
Cases, case rates and testing:
- 1,855 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the county in the last seven days (October 4 to October 10, 2022). The region’s total is now 926,364.
- The 1,855 cases reported in the past week were slightly lower than the 2,284 infections identified the previous week (September 27 to October 3, 2022).
- San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents 12 and older was 11.01 for fully vaccinated and boosted, 6.08 for fully vaccinated, and 22.65 for San Diego residents not fully vaccinated .
- 5,003 tests were reported to the county on October 8, and the rate of new positive cases was 4.1% (data through October 8).
- The 14-day running rate of positive cases among tests reported through October 8 is 4.2%.
Data updates for County website coronavirus-sd.com will be posted on Thursdays around 5pm, excluding holidays.