COVID-19 pandemic hospital
FILE PHOTO: An unidentified COVID-19 patient is treated in the ICU at Providence St Joseph Hospital in Orange, U.S. July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Omar Younis

The number of people in San Diego County hospitalized with COVID-19 decreased by 15 to 151, according to the latest state data released Saturday.

A total of 20 patients were in intensive care, down three from the previous day. There were 255 available ICU beds in the county, down six from the previous day.

County public health officials are encouraging residents to schedule vaccinations for both COVID-19 and influenza as the holidays — and indoor gatherings — approach.

The county Health and Human Services Agency this week reminded San Diegans that they could get both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot during the same visit.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated against both viruses. COVID-19 primary series vaccines and bivalent boosters, as well as flu shots, are widely available across the region.

“Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe outcomes from disease, but it takes some time for them to take full effect after vaccination,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “It takes most people about two weeks to develop antibodies after vaccination, so I recommend scheduling your vaccination appointments as soon as possible to develop protection ahead of the holidays.”

San Diego County reported 2,284 new COVID-19 infections and seven deaths in its Thursday weekly update, which increased the county’s cumulative totals to 924,478 cases and 5,498 deaths since the pandemic began.

The cases reported in the past week were slightly lower compared to the 2,402 infections identified the previous week.

San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 11.90 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 6.98 for fully vaccinated people and 23.85 for San Diegans who are not fully vaccinated.

The Pfizer/BioNTech bivalent COVID booster is available for anyone age 12 and older. Bivalent boosters have not yet been authorized for children under the age of 12. Youths in that age group can get boosted with the previous version of the monovalent Pfizer vaccine.

Close to 2.69 million or 80.3% of San Diegans have received the primary series of one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines and are considered fully vaccinated. A total of 1,467,090 or 59.6% of 2,462,965 eligible San Diegans have received a booster.

The county health department reports COVID-19 data once a week — on Thursday nights.

— City News Service, Inc.



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Ellen Bullock