As of this week, 6,266 members of the San Luis Obispo community were vaccinated against COVID-19, not including the health care staff vaccinated by certain hospitals or assisted living facilities, according to a press release from the county’s Public Health Department. 

A majority of people vaccinated are members listed in phase 1A of the vaccine rollouts, most of whom are predominately healthcare workers. However, that number is increasing to include residents aged 75-years-old and older, who began receiving vaccination Jan. 18, according to the county’s set distribution guidelines.

Kendra Williams, a lecturer at Cal Poly and a licensed marriage and family therapist, received the vaccine at the county’s public health office shortly after the county added therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists to the list of medical professionals eligible to be vaccinated. 

“Clients of mine were grateful that I was receiving the vaccine, just for their peace of mind,” Williams said, who is starting to do in-person sessions once again. “It just felt really good.”

She described the process fairly simply: she registered online at recoverslo.org to schedule an appointment, showed up to her appointment and, as in William’s case, with a business license to certify that she is a therapist actively working in San Luis Obispo county and able to receive the vaccine. 

“The process was super smooth,” Williams said. “As a community, in order for us to get back some normalcy of life, I look forward to more and more people in the community to receive the vaccine.”

Now, for the roughly 26,000 people in the county aged 75-years-old and older, the only required documentation is a government issued form of ID proving age and a document that verifies one’s residency within the county. Appointments are on a first come, first serve basis, the county’s Public Health Director Dr. Penny Borenstein said in a press briefing this week. 

The county acquires vaccine doses on a weekly basis, only permitting “one week forecasts,” Borenstein said in the press briefing. This consequently limits the county’s ability to declare when exactly the next group of individuals set to be vaccinated–those working in education, childcare, emergency services or food and agriculture–can make appointments.

The county opened a “place of distribution” (POD) for the vaccine in Paso Robles on Jan. 18, and the Public Health Department opened another POD Monday, Jan. 25 at Arroyo Grande High School.

For the latest updates on vaccine distribution or to make an appointment to receive the vaccination in SLO County, see recoverslo.org.

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