San Diego County

County Adjusting Vaccination Strategy to Reach Those Who Are Unvaccinated but Willing

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Possibly days away from having kids 12 to 15 years old eligible for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, San Diego County is putting some Pfizer doses aside in anticipation of increased demand.

That's according to County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who also explained to NBC 7 how the county is shifting its vaccine strategy now that demand has dropped off.

"Just as there were a lot of parents who immediately wanted to get vaccinated, those same parents will immediately want their kids to get vaccinated so we expect an initial surge, and then we'll get back into that same effort we've been doing, partnering with schools, and other efforts to make sure that vaccine reaches the 12 to 15-year-old population," Fletcher said.

As for those who are already eligible, the county finds itself pivoting its approach once again, and is having to get creative to put vaccination opportunities in front of people who are willing to get the shot, but may not be prioritizing it.

"We're in a different phase. We went through a phase where folks could not get the appointments fast enough and they would go anywhere in the county, at any time a day or night to get a vaccine, and now we're in the phase of folks who, I think, generally are willing to get a vaccine but it's not a high priority," Fletcher said.

The county's plan for reaching those people centers around convenience.

"We have to make it more convenient, and that is allowing appointments seven days in advance, allowing drop-ins at any of the locations we're doing -- no appointment needed -- expanding the hours, and now, really shifting to taking the vaccine to where people are. And those are our mobile pods we're setting up at businesses and high-traffic areas, working with MTS. The opportunity for any business, church, nonprofit that wants to request we come to you with a vaccine pod, we'll get you in the queue and we'll come out," Fletcher said.

Vaccination pods can be requested here.

Fletcher said the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce recently requested a mobile vaccine pod and had hundreds of its members vaccinated that way.

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