SAN DIEGO, CA – (November 22, 2021) Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) has reached a new milestone in its vaccination efforts by administering its 150,000th COVID-19 vaccine dose. Given the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) endorsement of Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all U.S. adults, FHSCD anticipates their vaccination sites will serve a wave of community members seeking boosters in advance of the holidays.

“As we approach the holiday season with more indoor family gatherings, we urge everyone to get fully vaccinated, including a booster shot if you are 18 years old and older,” said Dr. Christian Ramers, FHCSD’s Chief of Population Health & Infectious Disease Expert. “COVID-19 transmission in San Diego County is still substantial, and vaccines have proven to reduce the likelihood of adults and children becoming seriously ill if they contract the virus. Boosters have the same excellent safety profile of first and second doses and increasing evidence is showing they can restore immunity, prevent severe consequences and may even reduce transmission.”

Nicolas Castillo, a 71-year-old San Diegan, is one of many who promptly scheduled a booster at a FHCSD vaccination site.

“I needed a third dose and came right on time,” said Castillo. “The vaccine will help keep me safe.”

FHCSD’s robust COVID-19 response has consisted of COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccination locations at dozens of clinic sites throughout San Diego County. Patient engagement staff members, who serve as the bridge between FHCSD clinics and community, quickly adapted to new roles to assist with the organization’s COVID-19 outreach efforts from the beginning of the pandemic, utilizing existing relationships with low-income, medically underserved communities.

Some community members who were once hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccination are now coming forward. Daniela Brown, a 25-year-old  San Diegan, received her first vaccination at the Logan Heights Family Health Center one week before Thanksgiving.

“I think it’ll probably lessen my anxiety a lot, especially around huge crowds,” said Brown. “Now, I have a sense of protection.”

Of those vaccinated at FHCSD, 65% identified as Hispanic or Latinx compared to 34% in the County as a whole, and nearly 9% of all individuals vaccinated were experiencing homelessness. Approximately 5.75% identified as Black or African American, surpassing the County’s 5.5%. The majority of individuals vaccinated by FHCSD live in the zip codes hardest hit by COVID-19 cases in the South and Central regions.

“Family Health Centers of San Diego has a longstanding commitment to health equity,” said Fran Butler-Cohen, FHCSD CEO. “We have prioritized free and accessible COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccinations at various county-wide sites to those who are hardest to reach.”

FHCSD currently offers vaccines to patients ages five and older, and boosters to all persons 18 and older. Individuals can schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments by calling (619) 515-2474 or visiting www.fhcsd.org/covid-19-vaccines. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are also welcome.

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About Family Health Centers of San Diego
For over 50 years, Family Health Centers of San Diego’s (FHCSD) mission has been to provide caring, affordable, high-quality health care and supportive services to everyone, with a special commitment to uninsured, low-income and medically underserved persons. FHCSD is one of the nation’s ten largest FQHCs, operating 50 sites across the county and providing care to over 215,000 patients each year, of whom 91% are low-income and 29% are uninsured.

Source: (https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/sandiegocountycalifornia,CA/PST045219)