Increased vaccine supply equals more appointments for Santa Barbara Co. educators

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Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-13 02:11:35-05

Many more educators in Santa Barbara County will now be able to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine after an increase in vaccine supply.

Just a week ago, only certain school staff were able to receive their COVID-19 vaccines but that's not the case now. According to the county superintendent of schools, the supply has picked up.

"You know, we had to really respond to a limited vaccine and at that time... the response was to say, who are the most at risk?” said Dr. Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools.

Salcido says that's no longer the case with nearly 10,000 people in the education sector now having the opportunity to schedule a first dose appointment before the end of March.

"Private schools, the parochial schools, independent schools staff, and the public school staff between transitional kindergarten through 12th grade, there's slightly over 10,000 in Santa Barbara County,” she said.

Starting next week on March 15, several thousand vaccine appointments will be available at places like Lompoc Valley Medical Center, Marian Regional Medical Center, and Cottage Health.

"We will be doing the same thing that we did last week, running three days off of educator clinics at the end of next week,” said Dr. Naishadh Buch of Lompoc Valley Medical Center.

With the county possibly looking into moving into the red tier soon, that means secondary schools will get a chance to open back up as well and Salcido says this couldn't have come at a better time.

“The vaccine for those who want to have the vaccine is a really important piece, so we are really, really excited that public health and the hospitals and the medical system are really supporting the education sector right now in Santa Barbara County,” Salcido said.

People can also schedule a vaccine appointment through many pharmacies like Rite Aid, and CVS.

The Santa Barbara County Education Office says those near clinics like Marian Regional and Lompoc Valley will be receiving an invitation to get their vaccines. As for Cottage Health and other sites, people can schedule an appointment on their own using the “My Turn” website here.