On Feb. 11, the San Luis Obispo County Health Department hosted a vaccination site tour at Cuesta College Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo (SLO). That day the site issued 900 vaccines, which was the highest number of people to receive vaccines in SLO County in one day.
U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal joined in on a vaccination site tour the same day.
“I think this is a great example of how the SLO community has come together to make sure that we are effectively getting out the number of vaccines that are available,” said Carbajal.
The Cuesta College site, located at the Cultural and Performing Arts Center off Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo, is now offering first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Cuesta College site is currently the only vaccine center in SLO County to offer both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
According to the County Public Health Department spokesperson Michelle Shoresman, the county has set its goal to issue 1,000 vaccines a day, per site eventually.
Of course, the amount of appointments available depends on the number of doses given to the county each week. Receiving a steady supply of doses has been a challenge across the state.
“The biggest challenge is two-fold. One is getting enough personnel to be able to get the vaccines out–the biggest issue is the amount of vaccine and the supply that is not yet available at the rate that it’s needed,” said Carbajal.
It was noted by Stan Atchison, task force leader, that no vaccines have been wasted. If there are doses leftover from canceled appointments, they are offered to eligible personnel on call.
According to Atchison, there have been no proven adverse reactions from the vaccine at the Cuesta College location to date. Emergency services were called three times for reactions that turned out to be anxiety-related, not from the vaccine.
Patients go through several checkpoints to ensure they are eligible for the vaccine. Someone will be deemed ineligible if they are either not in the age bracket being served or have had a separate vaccine, i.e., flu shot, in the last 14 days, according to Atchison.
Couple Phil and Colleen Mesel, Arroyo Grande residents, both received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Feb. 11.
“I’m just glad to see our county catch up with other countries–we do feel fortunate to be able to get it,” said Phil.
Colleen noted the process went smoothly, “I thought it was fine, the line moved fast–everybody is very professional and right on top of checking how you’re doing.”
On Feb. 12, SLO County Health Department issued a document with “Top COVID-19 Vaccine Myths.”
It should be noted that you are not immediately protected against the COVID-19 virus once vaccinated.
The Health Department clarified this myth by stating:
“Fiction: You are immediately protected against COVID-19 once vaccinated.
Fact: You can still get the virus several weeks after getting vaccinated. Protection begins to build soon after you receive the first dose but takes both doses and at least two weeks after the second dose for the vaccine to reach the 94% to 95% efficacy that the manufacturers found in their initial vaccine trials. While protection is not immediate once the vaccine enters your arm, researchers found there was a noticeable drop-off in new COVID-19 cases in those vaccinated (compared to the placebo group) starting about 10 days after the first shot. The important thing to remember is that getting vaccinated is not an immediate cure-all and you must continue to take protective measures to protect yourself and those around you.”
Currently, the county is vaccinating anyone age 65 and older or frontline health care workers.
Appointments are booked quickly, but new appointments can be available daily due to cancellations.
Vaccination locations are below:
- Cuesta College (Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center), HWY 1 San Luis Obispo
- Paso Robles Event Center at 2198 Riverside Ave, Paso Robles
- Arroyo Grande High School (Clark Center for the Performing Arts), 487 Fair Oaks Ave