The list of local COVID-19 vaccination providers has expanded in Santa Barbara County, and the number of available appointments has grown significantly in recent weeks.
Everyone 16 and older is now eligible to sign up for an appointment, although only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is available for people younger than 18. Minors have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who can provide consent for vaccination, according to the county.
The network of vaccine providers includes the Public Health Department, hospitals, clinic systems, and pharmacies, and each provider has used its own registration system.
That has been changing as providers transition to the statewide MyTurn system, which is supposed to be a universal sign-up spot for appointments.
According to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, the system should be fully implemented by the end of the week.
Go to https://myturn.ca.gov/ and click through the eligibility questions, and then search for COVID-19 first-dose vaccination appointments by area, by entering an address or just a zip code.
It will show results of providers nearby, and you can search multiple zip codes to get a wider range of providers.
Vaccination sites in neighboring San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties will show up in some search results for zip codes near county lines. Most counties require people to live or work in the county where they get vaccinated, as Santa Barbara County does, according to the MyTurn site.
You can also search vaccine providers by area and by vaccine type at: https://vaccinefinder.org/search/.
County Pausing Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccines
“The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, at the direction of the California Department of Public Health, will pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further notice,” spokeswoman Jackie Ruiz said Tuesday.
“Any clinics scheduled this week that originally planned to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not be canceled, but instead use the Moderna vaccine.”
Most of the county’s doses so far have been the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, with one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine available for about a month so far.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration released a joint statement Tuesday saying the agencies are reviewing data involving “six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine.”
An advisory committee is set to review the cases on Wednesday.
According to the agencies, “all six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.”
More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the United States as of Monday.
“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider,” according to the CDC and FDA.
The California Department of Public Health later issued a statement from the state epidemiologist advising healthcare providers to temporarily pause use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines until there is a review of the data.
“As the federal government has said, we do not expect a significant impact to our vaccination allocations. In California, less than 4% of our vaccine allocation this week is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” CDPH said in a statement.
County-run COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics
The Public Health Department is hosting large vaccination clinics for people who live or work in the county, with about 7,000 first-dose spots available at its Santa Barbara location now through Saturday.
More information about the county-run clinics is available on the website here: https://publichealthsbc.org/phd-vaccination-clinics/.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be administered at this week’s Santa Barbara clinic.
Second doses will be provided at the same location as first doses, three to six weeks after the first dose appointments, according to the county.
A one-day clinic in Santa Maria on Wednesday at Allan Hancock Community College will administer first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Click here for the appointment registration link.
The county is also holding a one-day clinic on Thursday in Lompoc at Dick DeWees Community & Senior Center, where Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses will be administered. Click here for the appointment registration link.
Bring documentation with your name on it and proof of Santa Barbara County residency to your appointment, the county says.
“The name on your documentation should match the name on your appointment confirmation. Examples of acceptable documentation with your name include 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, paystub, passport, money transfer receipt, etc. Please note, the documentation does not need to be a government-issued ID to receive a vaccine.
For proof of county residency, bring any of the documents mentioned above or another document with your name and address on it.
COVID-19 Vaccine Providers in Santa Barbara County
You can search for providers through the Public Health Department website here, searching by zip code on MyTurn.ca.gov, or the VaccineFinder website here.
The list of community-based vaccination sites in Santa Barbara County includes:
» Cottage Health (Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital drive-up clinic at 351 S. Patterson Avenue in Goleta and some urgent care clinics). Appointments can be made via MyTurn.
» Marian Regional Medical Center at 1400 East Church Street in Santa Maria. Appointments can be made via MyTurn.
» Lompoc Valley Medical Center at 1515 E. Ocean Avenue in Lompoc. Appointments can be made via MyTurn.
» Sansum Clinic at 215 Pesetas Lane in Santa Barbara. Appointments can be made via MyTurn.
Many local pharmacies are administering the COVID-19 vaccines, and some are booking appointments through MyTurn while others are still using independent registration systems.
» Vons Pharmacy in Montecito at 1046 Coast Village Road, Suite B. Appointments can be made online here.
» Sav-on Pharmacy (in Albertsons) at 1018 Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria. Appointments can be made online here.
» Sav-On Pharmacy (in Albertsons) at 2320 South Broadway in Santa Maria. Appointments can be made online here.
» Sav-On Pharmacy at 1120 East Clark Avenue in Orcutt. Appointments can be made online here.
» Sav-On Pharmacy at 1500 North H Street in Lompoc. Appointments can be made online here.
» Vons Pharmacy at 729 North H Street in Lompoc. Appointments can be made online here.
» Various Ralphs pharmacies, based on availability. Click here for more information.
» CVS pharmacies including locations in Buellton, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Solvang. Click here for more information and to make appointments.
» Various Rite Aid pharmacies. Click here for more information.
» Walmart pharmacies including locations in Lompoc and Santa Maria. Walmart accounts required to schedule an appointment.
» Costco pharmacies including locations in Goleta and Santa Maria. Appointments can be made online here.
Vandenberg Air Force Base’s medical group is offering vaccination appointments to Tricare Beneficiaries (including active duty and retired service members). More information is available by calling 805.606.2273.
Get Help Making an Appointment
The county has expanded its call center to include more operators answering questions and helping community members make COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Operators are available to help callers who prefer to speak in English, Spanish, or Mixteco, according to the county.
The call center is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, by calling 2-1-1. Dial 4 to continue in English and dial 5 to continue in Spanish. If calling from out of the area, or with an out-of-area cell phone, reach the call center by dialing 800.400.1572.
Need a Second Dose?
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are two-dose vaccines that are administered several weeks apart.
Residents should schedule a second-dose appointment at the same place (a county clinic, hospital, pharmacy, etc.) as their first dose, according to the Public Health Department.
People who received a first dose through a county-run clinic will receive an email the week before their second dose is due, prompting them to schedule an appointment.
Anyone who needs help scheduling a timely second dose (within six weeks of the first dose) can also call 2-1-1 for assistance.
— Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.