Omicron is Spreading and Most Californians Aren’t Boosted
Experts say vaccines plus boosters are the best way to protect ourselves from the coronavirus. But a new CalMatters analysis shows the rate of boosted Californians is still just 38%. In some counties, it's even lower.
As with initial vaccinations, acceptance of the booster shot has varied throughout California: Counties in the far north and rural areas continue to see lower numbers, with as few as 23% of vaccinated people getting a booster in Mariposa, Colusa and Merced counties, according to a CalMatters analysis of state data.
The Bay Area boasts the highest rate, at 55%, and only three counties have more than half of their vaccinated population boosted: San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo. In 19 California counties, less than a third of eligible residents are boosted.
In Imperial County — the border community that led the state in vaccination rates last spring after it was hit hard by the virus — only a quarter of eligible residents have gotten a booster shot. The health officer there blames “pandemic fatigue.”
Booster rates vary by age as well. Nearly 64% of adults 65 and over have received a third shot. But among the 50-64 age group, the rate is 47%.
With hospitalizations approaching their 2020 winter surge peak, experts are imploring the public to get boosters.
“The boosted vaccination population is fending off the omicron infections really quickly,” Fresno County Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra told CalMatters. In his county, the spread of COVID-19 has prompted the deployment of the National Guard.