In El Cajon, a Debate on Politicians Urging the Public to Get Vaccinated

NBC Universal, Inc.

El Cajon City Council members have different personal opinions on whether they're going to get vaccinated, but some say it's not a politician's job to encourage their constituents to get the shot

San Diego County is about 65% of the way to its goal of having 75% of its residents 12 years and older fully immunized. That's the target metric the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set in order for regions to reach herd immunity, but not all politicians agree on whether they should play a role in urging their constituents to get vaccinated.

El Cajon has a population of around 103,000 people. According to San Diego County, around 69,400 El Cajon residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Overall, 13% of shots administered in the entire county have gone to East County -- including El Cajon -- residents.

In a recent El Cajon City Council meeting, Councilmember Steve Goble made a case about the effectiveness of getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

"I wanted to give people information that I didn't think was widely known information from the CDC that I thought would be helpful for them in making their own decision," Goble said.

While El Cajon lags behind other areas of the county in vaccination numbers, Goble said giving the public relevant information about the vaccine is where a politician's role should end.

Goble has been fully vaccinated, but fellow Councilmember Michelle Metschel has not received a dose. She agrees with Goble that getting vaccinated should be a personal choice and doesn't want to get involved.

"When it comes to vaccines and actually putting something into my body, that is something that I take as a personal decision and should not be telling anybody to get it," Metschel said. "If they don't want to get it, it should not be forced on anyone."

This article originally stated that East County vaccination rates -- including El Cajon -- stood at 13%, and those in northcentral San Diego County were at 22.5%. The article had been corrected to reflect that 13% of all the shots administered in the county went to East County residents -- Ed.

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