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Central Coast counties prepared to undertake third COVID dose effort

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) Local health leaders say they are prepared for another mass vaccination rollout on the Central Coast.

The San Benito County health officer, who also works in Santa Cruz County, tells KION the vaccine supply situation is pretty good right now, enough to handle a third round of vaccinations.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination booster shot was something we all wondered about, but now it's becoming a reality.

Federal health officials said vaccinated Americans will need to get a third dose eight months after getting their second one. They argue it will maximize efficacy against the virus, including the Delta variant.

"Wasn't necessarily impressed with the first round of vaccinations. This time around, I think I don't know, I'm not sure if I'm going to get another one or not, to be honest," said Jeff Richardson, a San Juan Bautista resident.

"I don't have any issues with that. If that's what the CDC recommends, then I'm pretty much trying to follow the science," said Jim McCalment, a Hollister resident.

The FDA and CDC still need to greenlight this plan, but health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci are already in favor.

"I am a little bit worried about once this gets approved for children, whether we're going to have the immediate supply for the rush of new people that want to get vaccinated and the booster shots," said Dr. David Ghilarducci, the health officer in San Benito County.

Dr. Ghilarducci says it is unlikely they will bring back mass vaccination clinics. Pharmacies, doctor's officers and local clinics are sufficient. He says there is not the same urgency as before because the two doses still show great protection against serious COVID-19 illness and death.

"It's not a life or death situation to get that booster shot," said Dr. Ghilarducci.

He says almost all the patients Santa Cruz and San Benito County hospitals see are unvaccinated. All deaths are by unvaccinated people as well.

Still, breakthrough cases do happen, so health experts think getting the third shot is the best thing to do, especially with variants rising.

"You can see it where it's mutated now to the Delta. Who knows, it could just keep going forth," said Lupe McCalment, a Hollister resident.

The Biden Administration is prepared to begin offering the boosters the week of Sept. 20th. And if you got the single-shot Johnson and Johnson dose, you may also see a booster shot soon enough as well.

PREVIOUS STORY: Central Coast counties say they are prepared to dish out the third COVID-19 vaccine dose after federal health officials recommended all Americans receive it 8 months after their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna.

Dr. David Ghilarducci tells KION Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties have enough supply of the vaccines at this point to be able to carry out the mandate next month. He says his only concern is if the vaccines get approved for children under 12 years old; that could create a vaccine supply issue.

KION's Josh Kristianto will have more tonight at 5 and 6 p.m.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Josh Kristianto

Josh Kristianto is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


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