Herd immunity is the focus this holiday weekend as the governor tries new ways to motivate people to get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have lifted guidelines for wearing masks, but California is still under some restrictions.
Sunday morning at Mission Beach, parking lots were full and hundreds of people were out enjoying the waves, music and food.
“It should have been like this last year,” beachgoer Doug Dukes said. “It feels good, everyone’s calm, everyone’s having a good time, no drama.”
“It is good to see people out, doing things and interacting again and not being afraid to go places and do things,” Tucson, Arizona resident Shiela Riley said.
Since the start of the pandemic, Memorial Day weekend is the first time we’ve seen hundreds of mask-less people gathered along the coastline. And in the back of some of their minds is everyone else’s vaccination status.
“I feel like at this point in the pandemic, you just really need to be looking out for yourself and being aware of where you’re going, what you’re around,” Stacey Nolan said. “You don’t know who’s vaccinated and who’s not.”
Miles away in Otay Mesa, another crowd was gathered inside a vaccination clinic at the Border View Family YMCA. NBC 7 met two teens getting their second Pfizer shot.
“I just wanted to be safe and make sure I don’t get sick,” Cinthya Sanchez said.
“Getting vaccinated would help a lot to, like end the pandemic and everything,” Sebastian Castaneda said. “Cause more people would be like protected and stuff.”
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will pay millions in gifts and cash to motivate more people to get vaccinated.
Ten grand-prize winners will be chosen June 15 for $1.5 million each, $50,000 winners will be selected June 4 and 11, and the first 2 million people—since the governor’s announcement, to get shots -- will be eligible for a $50 gift or grocery card.
So far, the state has given more than 37 million vaccines. But despite the overall progress, the vaccination progress has slowed. There’s also hesitancy among people in San Diego County.
With the state less than two weeks from reopening and uncertainty surrounding a potential surge in cases -- because of the holiday weekend -- the message is still the same: Get vaccinated or wear a mask.
If you’re among the 2 million people eligible to get a $50 gift card, you’ll receive a redemption code by text or email within 10 days after your last required shot.