The number of people getting their COVID-19 vaccines is increasing in Santa Barbara County for the first time in months, and the shots are available for free at pharmacies and other providers throughout the region.
New cases of the novel coronavirus dramatically increased in July, and they are affecting younger people than past periods of the pandemic, according to the Public Health Department. Young adults under 30 represent the majority of recent cases.
Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said the county “strongly advises” people to wear a mask indoors in public, even if you are fully vaccinated, to stay home if you are sick, even if you are fully vaccinated, and avoid crowded events.
Van Do-Reynoso, the public health director, said Friday that COVID-19 vaccines are “the safe, effective solution to stop this surge in its tracks. We need every eligible member of this community to act and get vaccinated as soon as possible. There are still 149,688 persons eligible to be vaccinated in Santa Barbara County, who have not been vaccinated.”
Here are some ways to find a vaccine provider near you, how to request vaccinators come to you, how to prove vaccination status, information about vaccinations for school, and where to get more information about the three vaccines available in the United States.
How to Find a COVID-19 Vaccine Provider
All of the vaccines are available for free, regardless of health insurance coverage.
You do not need a government-issued identification card to receive a vaccine, according to the Public Health Department, but you should bring some form of documentation with your name on it. Undocumented individuals are eligible to receive a vaccine regardless of their immigration status.
Acceptable documentation includes a driver’s license, business card, work ID, library card, letter from your employer or school, bank/ATM cards, Costco card, electrical bill, matricula consular, pay stub, passport, money transfer receipt, according to the Public Health Department.
The Vaccine Finder search function of https://www.vaccines.gov/search/ lets you search for providers by location and by specific COVID-19 vaccine available (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson).
You can text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) for a list of vaccine providers in English, or text your zip code to VACUNA (822862) for a list in Spanish.
Another way to look for vaccine providers is through the state MyTurn portal, but not all providers are included.
Access MyTurn through myturn.ca.gov to search for providers and make appointments.
The county Public Health Department’s vaccines page at publichealthsbc.org/vaccine has a list of sign-up links for vaccinations at local pharmacies.
The county’s call center is available at 2-1-1 or at 800.400.1572 if calling from outside the area or from a phone with a non-805 area code. The call center is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and an information line is available 24/7.
Getting COVID-19 Vaccines at Local Pharmacies, Other Providers
Many pharmacies allow walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations, meaning no appointment is required. Give them a call to ask about vaccine availability, or stop by and ask next time you’re there.
The Albertsons (Sav-On Pharmacy) and Vons chain offers appointments and walk-in vaccinations at many of its local locations including:
» Santa Maria (Albertsons/Sav-On at 2320 S. Broadway)
» Nipomo (Vons at 520 West Tefft Street)
» Orcutt (Albertsons/Sav-On at 1120 East Clark Ave.)
» Lompoc (Albertsons/Sav-On at 1500 North H Street)
» Montecito (Vons at 1046 Coast Village Road, Suite B)
» Carpinteria (Albertsons/Sav-On at 1018 Casitas Pass Road)
» Ventura (Vons at 2433 Harbor Blvd., Vons at 6040 Telegraph Road, Vons at 5688 Telephone Road)
Ralphs pharmacies have COVID-19 vaccines available at multiple locations. Click here for more information.
CVS pharmacies have COVID-19 vaccines available at multiple locations. Click here for more information.
Rite Aid pharmacies have COVID-19 vaccines available at multiple locations. Click here for more information.
Walmart pharmacies have COVID-19 vaccines available at multiple locations. Click here for more information.
Costco pharmacies have COVID-19 vaccines available at multiple locations. Click here for more information.
The Lompoc Valley Medical Center holds a vaccination clinic every Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., at 1515 E. Ocean Ave.
Santa Maria-area COVID-19 vaccine providers listed on MyTurn this week include:
» Santa Maria Fair Park Convention Center at 987 S. Thornburg St., which offers walk-ins or appointments. The vaccination site is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
» This Thursday, there is a vaccination clinic at the Mechanics Bank Student Center in Santa Maria, at 800 S. College Drive, Building G. It is open 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., providing Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Request a Vaccination Team Come to You
Santa Barbara County has a program providing vaccinations for homebound individuals, for free, and requests can be made through the county website here or by calling the 2-1-1 call center (staffed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday).
Its mobile vaccination clinic program has sent teams around the county to schools, community events, workplaces and places of worship.
Ryyn Schumacher, assistant deputy director of the Public Health Department, said the county will partner with the California Department of Public Health on requests for pop-up clinics at schools, workplaces, community-based organizations and faith-based organizations.
The request form is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/mobilevaccination or you can send requests to email@example.com.
Vaccinations for School and for UCSB
The University of California and California State University systems are implementing COVID-19 vaccination mandates for students, faculty and staff at campuses this fall.
UC Santa Barbara requires full vaccination by Sept. 9, two weeks before the start of classes, and has released a schedule to help people meet that deadline. It will also require masks be worn indoors on campus.
Santa Barbara City College and Allan Hancock College are requiring masking indoors, regardless of vaccination status, and do not have vaccination mandates in place.
The start of classes for most local K-12 schools is two weeks away, and public health officials suggest parents of school-age children get vaccinated, and students 12 years old and older themselves get vaccinated.
School districts plan to return to full-time, in-person classes this year, and the state guidance requires universal masking for students and staff, but does not require physical distancing as it did last year.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in children 12-17, and all three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) are approved for use in adults. The Pfizer vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, with the second dose given three weeks after the first dose. Both doses are important for full protection, public health officials say.
Someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose, whether it’s the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
How to Get Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Records, Proof of Vaccination
The California Department of Public Health launched a Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record portal where people can request copies of their vaccination record. It is available here: https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/.
A printed copy of the digital record can be used as a replacement for a lost printed vaccination card, and users also can save an image to a phone, according to the CDPH.
The state government recently announced it will require proof of vaccination or regular novel coronavirus testing for state and healthcare facility employees, and for staff at congregate facilities such as senior residential facilities, homeless shelters and jails. Those policies are going into effect this month.
Where to Get More Information on COVID-19 and the Vaccines
For local information, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department website, publichealthsbc.org, has a data dashboard and resource pages related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Noozhawk will have a story on Thursday with novel coronavirus testing resources, and information about isolating at home if you are feeling sick or have had a positive test result.