After a summer spike in COVID-19 cases, San Mateo County officials shared strong optimism about continued improvement in pandemic health conditions while taking a stand against misinformation about vaccines and viruses that they say them prolong the crisis.
“We are going through this and all signs are pointing to our passing fourth wave in California and the Bay Area, including San Mateo County,” Chief Health Officer Louise Rogers said at the meeting. Tuesday supervisory board meeting.
The number of county residents who contract the virus has steadily declined week to week and is now eight new cases per 100,000 residents per day for a daily average of 62 cases, Rogers said.
Hospitalizations also continued in a downward trend with hospitalizations varying between 10 and 25 over the past seven days. The latest number of hospitalizations was 10 with four people in the intensive care unit.
The county’s vaccination rate is also slowly improving. As of Monday, 94.6% of eligible residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose. Taking into account all eligible county residents and not, the rate is closer to 82%.
Officials are watching pandemic numbers as they consider whether to remove an interior masking warrant instituted during the peak of the recent outbreak caused by the delta variant. County Health spokesman Preston Merchant said a statement relating to the warrant is expected to be released this week.
“Even as our overall measures improve, we continue to urge COVID-19 vaccination for all who are eligible, as it is the most important step to take to protect yourself, your loved ones and our community, ”Rogers said, noting the serious risk the delta variant still poses for the unvaccinated.
The Pfizer Inc. vaccine is expected to receive emergency federal approval by next month for children as young as 5 years old after federal support for booster shots was recently issued for some groups.
Mass vaccination clinic
County health officials say they are ready to meet the additional need. Starting this Thursday, the county will re-launch a mass vaccination clinic at the San Mateo County Events Center where people needing a booster or a first or second dose of Pfizer can be treated.
People aged 65 and over, people living in collective care facilities, and people aged 50 to 64 with underlying health conditions or facing social inequalities are recommended to receive a booster injection. at least six months after their second dose of Pfizer.
People aged 18 to 49 with underlying health conditions and those at increased risk of infection due to their work or institutional environment may also be boosted at least six months after their second dose.
“Access is not a challenge for those who are recommended for the third Pfizer booster dose,” said Dr Anand Chabra, section chief for mass vaccinations. “There is a lot of supply.”
Despite strong advances in vaccination in the county, rates in some communities are lower than the county average. Black, Hispanic, Pacific Islander and Métis communities and the areas of Broadmoor, El Granada, Loma Mar and Moss Beach are still below the 80% vaccination rate target set by County Health.
Chabra said the percentages are likely an underestimate of the actual number of people in these groups who were vaccinated given the number of people who were classified as “unknown” or “of another race” when vaccinated. .
There are around 36,000 eligible residents to be reached, Chabra said, noting that the figure is down 4,000 since last week’s report.
Supervisors said misinformation was a reason some are reluctant to access COVID-19 vaccines. With a unanimous vote on Tuesday, they passed a resolution declaring health disinformation a public health crisis.
David Canepa, chairman of the board, lambasted celebrities, politicians and public figures for spreading additional false information. He encouraged those who are reluctant to get the vaccine to talk to a healthcare professional.
“Lies and myths about the COVID vaccine are costing lives and that’s not opinion,” Canepa said in a press release after the vote. “This is a national public health crisis and I urge everyone to obtain information about the vaccine from reliable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and the United States Food and Drug Administration and not from social media influencers. “
Since the start of the pandemic, health officials have worked with various local partners to dispel myths and misinformation about the virus and the vaccine in culturally sensitive ways. In July, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a warning about the “urgent threat” of disinformation to overcome the pandemic.
Supervisor Don Horsley, who sponsored the article with Canepa, also highlighted the death toll COVID-19 has taken the nation while acknowledging the country’s long history of vaccinations against various diseases, some of which were eradicated in because of medical advances.
“Millions of people in the United States and millions of people around the world have been vaccinated and people who have been vaccinated are relatively safe and people who are not vaccinated are not,” Horsley said. “So the idea that there isn’t enough information about the vaccine is just incorrect. “
Visit the County Health website at smchealth.org/post/booster-shots-third-doses for more information on booster shots, vaccine appointments, and other information.
(650) 344-5200 ext 106