Santa Rosa, CA – September 7, 2021 – Three of four eligible Sonoma County residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, an important milestone reached amid efforts to keep everyone safe from the highly contagious Delta variant.
To date, 323,604 county residents age 12 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while another 33,193 residents - or 8 percent of the county’s eligible population - have been partially vaccinated.
More than 667,000 doses have been administered to county residents since the first vaccine shipment arrived in mid-December 2020.
Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s health officer, congratulated the community on reaching this milestone but also emphasized how vital it is for more people to get vaccinated to contain the Delta variant and help save lives.
“I strongly urge everyone who has waited to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Dr. Mase said. “Our hospitals and ICUs are still over-loaded with unvaccinated patients. Forty-six of our residents have died from COVID-19 in the past two months alone. These deaths are especially tragic because they were preventable. Almost all of them were unvaccinated by choice.”
To protect those under 12 who cannot be vaccinated right now and to reduce school infection rates, the County needs to continue communal efforts to increase vaccination rates.
Health officials hope the recent full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those age 16 and up will encourage residents who have been waiting to get vaccinated.
Adolescents ages 12 to 15 became eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine in May. In Sonoma County, about 65 percent of children age 12 to 15 are now fully or partially vaccinated -- nearly 15,000 children in all. This marks another impressive milestone reached in less than four months. More than 55 percent are fully vaccinated.
Sonoma County continues to outpace national and state averages in the rate of vaccine doses administered. By comparison, 67 percent of the California population is fully vaccinated with 77.4 percent fully or partially vaccinated. In the United States, 62 percent of those 12 and older are fully vaccinated while 73 percent are fully or partially vaccinated.
The county’s vaccination rate continues to rebound in recent weeks as case and hospitalization rates have surged due to the Delta variant. The county averaged 737 vaccine doses administered a day in July and 1,029 doses a day in August, an increase of nearly 40 percent.
COVID-related deaths jumped to 16 in July and 30 so far for August after the County recorded just one COVID-related death in May and four in June. All those who have died were either unvaccinated or were elderly with underlying medical conditions.
Overall, the county’s number of new cases per day for unvaccinated individuals is 39.6 per 100,000 residents compared to 8.1 for vaccinated residents.
Since the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in mid-December, Sonoma County health officials, in partnership with hospitals, health centers, pharmacies and community based organizations, have operated or supported a network of vaccine clinics throughout the community. With a focus on equity, many of these clinics have targeted vulnerable and under-served communities.
The county’s vaccination campaign has evolved to make it more convenient for people to get vaccinated, including through mobile clinics and events at schools. The county continues to support larger vaccination clinics, including at the Roseland Community Center and the Rohnert Park Community Center.
Walk-ups are accepted at most clinics and pharmacies. Residents also may make appointments at the county’s vaccine clinic page or through the myturn.ca.gov web site. Residents who need help making an appointment are encouraged to call the County COVID-19 hotline at 707-565-4667.
For more information, including the latest vaccine numbers, who’s eligible for a vaccine and how to receive a vaccine, community members are encouraged to visit SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine, or call 2-1-1.