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Vaccine clinic opens up at a Guadalupe elementary school

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Posted at 5:28 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 00:16:31-04

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is working to get COVID-19 vaccinations into the arms of those in the newly-eligible 12-15 age group.

Residents in Guadalupe will have the opportunity to come to Mary Buren Elementary to receive a Pfizer vaccine Thursday and Friday from 3 to 7 pm. This clinic is just one of the many collaborations with North County schools in an effort to reach more people.

"We are seeing that school-based clinics are amazingly successful in community members getting vaccinated. It's easy, it's convenient and it's comfortable," said Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso.

Accessibility and a level of comfort are two things that many in those smaller communities tend to lean on.

"We know that if people feel safe, there is a higher likelihood that they will come and get vaccinated and we encourage and have that open door, so hopefully it will be a great success today and tomorrow," said Mary Buren Elementary School Principal Dr. Rene Rosas.

As of Thursday, 15 percent of those in the 12 through 15 age group have received their first dose in Santa Barbara County. 40 percent of those ages 16-29 have been fully vaccinated, and 73 percent of residents 75 and up have been fully vaccinated.

Although vaccine appointments are decreasing, health officials say vaccine clinics are still seeing good numbers.

"And by accepting walk-ins, we have seen an uptick in people coming in and getting vaccinated," Do-Reynoso said.

Guadalupe city leaders say they are happy to see community members going to these vaccination clinics.

"It's a community that really steps up and volunteers and word gets out and word to mouth is a huge reason for this," said Guadalupe City Administrator Todd Bodem.

Dr. Van Do-Reynoso says health equity has been a huge priority during the pandemic, which is why they will be creating a health equity alliance.

"To ensure that we continue making this progress that we continue to make sure that every community member in our county will have access to good health outcomes, so more to come on that," Do-Reynoso said.

She adds that they plan on continuing to work with other local schools to open up more vaccine clinics in the upcoming weeks so that anyone who would like to partner with them can definitely do so.

The vaccine clinic in Guadalupe will be taking appointments and walk-ins through Friday.

To see a full list of upcoming vaccine clinics, click here.