Vaccination Rates Remain Low in East County – NBC 7 San Diego

More than 45% of San Diegans have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus. Yet, there are some concerns about the obstacles vaccine hesitancy can bring to that progress. 

“I’ve heard different things about the vaccine,” said Donny White, a Ramona resident.

White says he’s been eligible to receive the vaccine for some time now but has decided not to simply because he isn’t too sure about it yet. 

“I don’t plan to [get the vaccine],” says Maria Ponce, a Ramona resident.

Ponce is convinced she won’t be getting the vaccine. 

“All my kids keep their masks on, do the handwashing and take the proper precautions,” said Ponce.

Both her and White aren’t alone in their hesitancy. 

The county’s latest vaccine allocation report indicates that those living in the eastern part of the county have accounted for just 12.7% of those vaccinated so far. 

The region stretches from La Mesa, Santee, Ramona, and out past Julian, yet they maintain the lowest vaccine allocation rate in the county. 

But while some residents are simply against the vaccine, others say they haven’t gotten it because there isn’t any available.

“Most of my friends are vaccinated,” said Shannon Huerta, a Julian resident. “Last time the vaccine went quickly for those in my age bracket and I didn’t get it on time.”

Huerta says she is in her 50s. Since the Johnson & Johnson pause, she’s struggled to get an appointment. 

“I did sign up,” said Huerta. “I do get texts from the county saying, ‘You’re there, we just don’t have vaccines available.'”

Others tell NBC 7 misinformation about the virus has also had something to do with the lower vaccination rates in East County. 

“I know most people in Ramona were kind of against even wearing masks,” said Dilek Picart, a Ramona resident.

According to medical experts, around 70 to 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. 

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