Santa Barbara County Public Health says a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine means most residents will have to wait to get a shot.
Santa Barbara County is currently offering vaccines to front-line workers with direct patient care and those 75 years and older in Santa Barbara County.
“All the appointments at the public health community sites are booked full at this time," County Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso said.
She states the County will create appointment slots as vaccine availability opens.
Those 65 years and older will be included in the next group to be vaccinated. Officials say a limited supply is forcing the county to limit distribution to those at the highest risk.
Do-Reynoso also addressed vaccine status for essential workers in the education, childcare, emergency services, food/groceries and agricultural sectors.
"We would like to begin vaccinating our essential workers but again because of our limited vaccines in our county we are holding off and we will notify our community when their turn is here,” she said.
According to Bloomberg's COVID-19 vaccine tracker, as of Jan. 22, California has used just less than 40% of the doses delivered, most states are in the 40-50% range.
Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg addressed efforts underway.
“We will continue with our mission to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible, we do have strong collaborations with the hospitals, the clinic systems across the county and the pharmacies to help vaccinate as many people as possible," he said.
According to Ansorg, they have administered about 20 thousand doses in Santa Barbara County.
The County continues to see high numbers of cases with more than 200 reported Friday.
"Given the significantly higher, phenomenal, seriously steep winter peak, we are anticipating that it will probably take a lot longer for the widespread transmission to stop,” Do-Reynoso said.
You can sign up for a vaccine newsletter on the Santa Barbara County Public Health website, which gives alerts to eligible patients on when they can schedule vaccines.
For more information on the County's COVID-19 response, visit publichealthsbc.org.