Chula Vista

Health Care Providers Fear a Slowdown in Vaccination Rates

A Sharp Healthcare representative said there are thousands of available doses this week that don't require appointments.

NBC Universal, Inc.

There are thousands of vaccination appointments available in San Diego County this week.

In fact, Sharp HealthCare said San Diego County residents don’t even need an appointment -- they can just show up and get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are wide open,” said Suzanne Shea, Sharp’s central pharmacy coordinator. “Like, I can stick-my-arms-out-and-not-touch-anybody wide.”

Sharp has run the South Bay Vaccination Supersite in Chula Vista since it opened in January, when hundreds of people made appointments on Day One. Vaccination interest, however, has slowed to a trickle on Wednesday.

“We’re very concerned,” Shea said with a sigh. “Almost half of San Diegans have come out for a vaccine, but that means half have not.”

Sharp HealthCare has thousands of available doses in Chula Vista, La Mesa, San Marcos, and Coronado this week. Appointments are not necessary for eligible residents.

“I feel definitely safer,” said Erika Jimenez, who sat alone in the waiting room after getting her first dose.

“What are people doing outside?” Jimenez waved her arm around the empty room. “Come over here and get your vaccine!”

Jimenez sheepishly admitted, however that she had not had time until now to get the vaccine.

“There’s a lot of reasons,” Shea tried to explain. “People say, ‘Oh, I want to wait until more people get a shot.’ ”

Jimenez could not pinpoint one specific group that’s holding out or any specific reason.

Shea said the South Bay Vaccination Supersite alone has vaccinated more than 167,000 people. She wants more.

“We know it’s safe and it’s effective, and the science tells us it’s safe and effective,” Shea said. “Maybe we see a big surge again next week. That would be wonderful. I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

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