El Cajon

Now They Get It: What's Motivating People to Get Vaccinated, Months Later?

The COVID-19 vaccine has been available for more than six months, yet only 70% of the population in San Diego County has gotten at least one dose

NBC Universal, Inc.

El Cajon is one of the areas listed on the San Diego County website experiencing “substantial COVID transmission.” There’s been a push there for months to get more people vaccinated, but those efforts did not resonate with all residents.

NBC 7 spoke with people of all ages Wednesday at the El Cajon walk-in clinic on North Magnolia Avenue, and the variety of reasons people gave for getting vaccinated are compelling.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update their mask guidelines on Tuesday, July 27, in light of surges of hyper-contagious delta variant. The CDC now recommends both unvaccinated and vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in public settings.

Concerns about side-effects made El Cajon resident Jenna Marogi hesitant, she said.

“They were saying the vaccinations are causing inflammation of, like, the heart and stuff, and so I was concerned at first,” Marogi said.

But now that the more severe delta variant is making headlines, Marogi has changed her tune.

“The delta variant is also affecting a lot of younger people,” Marogi said. “Those that are in the hospital are regretting not getting the vaccination, and they’re actually begging for the vaccination.”

Marogi was waiting outside the clinic before it opened. She said she was also getting vaccinated in honor of her late brother Zandre Marogi. The 5-year-old died two years ago from complications of a rare genetic disease.

“If I’m able to get vaccinated, I should do it to help those who can’t get vaccinated, Marogi said. “I know what it feels like to lose someone so close to you, and so I kind of just put myself in other people’s positions.”

California is now recommending the latest CDC guidance on indoor masks for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in communities with substantial transmission. School requirements are also fueling students who were once hesitant to get the shot.

Brianna Watson is a second-year student at San Diego Mesa Community College. She got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“I just need to get a vaccine so I can go to school this semester, or I’m not allowed to go on campus,” Watson said.

An 83-year old woman who asked not to be identified said her family asked her not to get the shot yet, but she decided not to wait any longer.

“Because we heard of so many of the older people passing away with it,” the woman said.

The walk-in clinic at the East Region Health Center on North Magnolia Avenue is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12-7 p.m.

While local vaccine supersites have closed, there are many mobile vaccination sites, pharmacies and doctor's offices where San Diegans can schedule an appointment.

Contact Us