As Californians 16 and older became eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday, there was a visible demographic switch at the vaccine superstation in Grossmont Center.
Still, the lines to get vaccinated were unexpectedly short because of a limited supply of available doses. Typically, the Grossmont Center site averages about 2,200 vaccinations a day. On Thursday, there 1,600 available appointments.
But among those lucky enough to get a coveted appointed, many were newly eligible 20-somethings.
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“I’m happy. My whole family is vaccinated now, and hopefully more people can get vaccinated and we can start moving toward reopening safely,” said Leah Poliner.
Poliner, 24, is a law student at the University of San Diego and was one of the first to get vaccinated on Thursday. She said she was able to log on to the state My Turn site late Wednesday, and secured an appointment in 10 minutes.
“It was definitely something for me that I had on the calendar. I live in San Diego now as a student, but when I go home, my grandma lives with us, so it’s definitely something on my mind, and something that my mom to be on top of, that I get it on the first day,” said Nick Orecchia.
Orecchia, 21, is a marketing student at USD and says he found the process surprising pleasant, and spoke of an obligation to get vaccinated to benefit the greater community.
“I think the mindset should be, let’s go out and do this thing. We need to be there for all the people in our community both young and old, and it should be our responsibility to have to go through with this action," Orecchia said.
Other younger adults wanted to get vaccinated for personal reasons. Daniel De Los Santos’ mother was hospitalized and survived a bout with COVID-19.
“It hit my mom hard, so I’m just making sure I’m taking precautions. She had it and she was basically hospitalized for about a month, but she got over it, luckily, thank God," said De Los Santos, a 25-year-old public utility worker.
According to the state public health department, San Diego county is set to receive 55,520 doses of vaccine this week.
Right now, 16 and 17 year old’s can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.