Push to Send COVID-19 Vaccines to Primary Care Offices As Vaccine Sites Close

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For the past few months, San Diegans could get a COVID-19 vaccine at super centers at schools, churches or community centers that transformed into clinics, but as vaccination rates are tapering off, there is a shift.

On Monday the Copley-Price Family YMCA saw the last COVID-19 vaccine administered at the site, then closed down its vaccination efforts, for example.

Although super sites are shuttering and vaccine demand is dropping, the push to vaccinate San Diegans continues.

"There's a lot of vaccine optimism, so you're seeing the new splashes of case counts going down and hospitalizations going down, and I think you can lull people into a very false sense of security," said Dr. Abi Olulade, who practices family medicine. "You have to remember that if you are unvaccinated, it is still dangerous for you."

The Centers for Disease Control are encouraging states to send vaccines to doctor's offices, where studies show, people prefer to be vaccinated. Olulade said that talking about vaccines is routine at a doctor's visit.

"So one of the first things they're telling us, 'Hey, I got my vaccine,' and you know, we celebrate together, which is really nice and great," Olulade said. "If they haven't gotten it, then that does create an opportunity to talk about it."

Aside from dealing with vaccine hesitancy, Olulade said, moving the shots to clinics and primary care offices will help increase access and information. Vaccines can now be stored for up to 30 days at a refrigerated temperature, making the move possible.

"The concern that we have is the fact that there are variants that are more transmissible, potentially more deadly," Olulade said. "So if you do get infected now, then there is a chance that you may not do as well as compared to before."

There are still many vaccination sites open across the county, with three locations in: El Cajon, Oceanside and Chula Vista running from 1-8 p.m. Plus, county residents can get the shot at county mobile vaccination sites that offer incentives, including the chance to win a pair of Padres tickets.

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