by Photo by Mat Napo via Unsplash

Thousands of older San Diegans have yet to receive all the recommended doses and boosters for COVID-19, despite their importance in adults over 50, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency said.

According to Thursday's data, 89,647 San Diegans 50 and older — or 8.42% of the estimated population in this age group — were not fully vaccinated. Additionally, 352,732 of this group — around 33% — have not gotten their first booster dose despite 295,990 being eligible.

Of the 711,749 San Diegans 50 and older who received a first booster dose, 71.3% — 507,398 people — are missing a second booster. A group in which 466,232 are eligible to receive one.

"Because immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine wanes over time, boosters help to give you added protection against the virus and its strains, both in terms of reducing infections and severe outcomes,'' said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. "People over age 50 are more susceptible to severe illness and complications from COVID-19. If you are eligible, you should get the recommended boosters as soon as possible to protect yourself and those around you.''

According to the HHSA, of all San Diegans who are fully vaccinated and eligible for their first booster, 42.7% have not received one. Currently, there are 2,384,778 people 5 years and older, who are eligible for their first booster.

A panel of advisors of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously approved giving COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as 6 months old on Saturday. San Diego County children in those age groups will be able to get vaccinated at their pediatrician's office, community clinics, and some retail pharmacies, according to local public health officials.

As of Friday, 256 people were hospitalized with coronavirus infections in San Diego County, according to the latest state data. The HHSA reported 1,629 new COVID-19 infections and 10 deaths Thursday, increasing the county's cumulative totals to 822,808 infections and 5,332 deaths.

The county only reports COVID-19 data on Mondays and Thursdays. A total of 9,724 cases were reported in the past week, compared to 9,672 infections the previous week. San Diego County's case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 43.99 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 26.46 for fully vaccinated people and 76.42 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

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