Will Santa Barbara County have a COVID-19 vaccination by the end of the year?
County Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg expects not one vaccine, but two, and maybe even the roll out of the first batch before 2020’s conclusion.
While the future of the vaccinations is dependent on their side effects before they can be distributed, it’s likely that there is, in fact, a light at the end of the tunnel.
The top two vaccines in the running are the Pfizer vaccine, which was reported to be more than 90% effective, and the Moderna vaccine, which was reported to be 94.5% effective.
The downside of the Pfizer vaccine is that it requires special freezers to be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit.
On Saturday, locals and visitors of downtown State Street provided reactions to the news of potential COVID-19 vaccines.
Most of them expressed excitement for the distribution, but skepticism of its effectiveness in these early stages.
“I think it’s positive news that it’s moving in the right direction,” State Street visitor Tracey Conaway told the News-Press. “I think it’s still concerning given that the FDA didn’t provide stringent guidelines to follow.
“We still need more time to know more results and have more test subjects. I think it’ll be awhile before I take it.”
Aron Ashland, the owner of The Cruisery in the 500 block of State Street, told the News-Press, “I think it’s the only thing that will ever get things back to normal.”
He said that while hopefully people will be back sitting at the bar soon, he doesn’t think it changes much right now.
“We have a vaccine and I’m still shut down,” Mr. Ashland said. “My capacity was 350 and now it’s 28 people, so I get it, but it doesn’t do anyone any good until it actually starts getting injected into people.
“It’s great news, but it’s not really going to help me this month or next week or, as far as I can tell, in the near future.”
Dave Boyt and his son, Jensen, were wandering around State Street on Saturday, and agreed they’ll both get the vaccine when it’s available.
“Why not? What’s it going to hurt?” Dave said. “It’s like a flu shot — sometimes it makes you sick, but if there’s a chance you’re protecting someone else, why not?
“It’s also like wearing a mask — we don’t wear it for us; we wear it for everybody else. Wear it because you care.”
Jensen said he’d get the COVID-19 vaccine, but not necessarily right away.
“I’d take it,” he told the News-Press. “I obviously wouldn’t take it if other people weren’t. I’d wait to see if it actually helped out. Someone has to do it.”
Erin McGovern told the News-Press she thought the news on the COVID-19 vaccines is “awesome.”
“I won’t be getting it first though, because I don’t know the efficacy of it,” she said. “I’d rather wait a little, then I would get it. I would think that would be another year or more.”
Jill Seapker also shared with the News-Press that she intends on getting the COVID-19 vaccine eventually.
“I hope it works. I hope it happens,” Ms. Seapker said. “I feel like it still seems like it’s a long way away. It’s not going to happen tomorrow.
“And then again, if the virus mutates, how is it going to continue to stay effective?” she added. “Viruses change. But, I feel like it’s worth a try as long as there’s no bad side effects.”