A new study released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the new bivalent COVID-19 boosters add protection against the new variants of the virus. Another study showed that the bivalent vaccine also protects against serious diseases.
Wastewater monitoring shows that those variants, XBB and XBB.1.5, make up about 25% of the virus circulating in San Diego County. The County Health and Human Services Agency continues to urge people to get vaccinated with the booster to protect themselves — especially those 65 and older. Those people are the group most at risk for serious complications, including death, from the COVID-19 virus.
“COVID-19 virus variants are still prevalent in our county and it is important that people protect themselves by getting vaccinated if they have not already done so,” said County Public Health Officer Wilma J. Wooten, MD, MPH. the number of deaths is decreasing, these events are still happening in San Diego County. These new studies reinforce the data that bivalent boosters can protect you, your family and friends from becoming seriously ill or dying.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Health a recommend a bivalent booster for anyone six months and older. Past CDC studies have reported that people who have not been vaccinated are at a much higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than those who have been vaccinated.
To date, more than 540,000 San Diegans have been vaccinated with the bivalent COVID-19 booster since it became available here in September 2022. The County Health and Human Services Agency reports that 80.5% of San Diegans — nearly 2.7 million people — receive their primary COVID-19 vaccinations.
COVID-19 vaccines, including bivalent boosters, and flu vaccines are widely available from local medical providers and pharmacies. The province continues to offer vaccinations throughout the region vaccination sites. Check online for the days and hours the sites are open.
In addition to vaccination and staying home when sick, San Diegans can take other precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19 and seasonal illnesses such as the flu. These measures include:
- Clean hands thoroughly and often.
- Stay away from sick people.
- Wearing a face covering, especially in crowded indoor environments.
- Clean regularly touched surfaces.
- Perform testing at home in case of exposure or illness. The federal government is making free COVID-19 home testing available again for a limited time during the winter. Households can order one pack of four free tests through the US Postal Service. For more information about testing, visit the County of San Diego COVID-19 testing page.
Vaccination progress COVID-19
- More than 2.69 million or 80.5% of San Diegans have received the primary series of one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines.
- Bivalent boosters administered: 556,351 or 22.3% of 2,498,111 eligible San Diegans.
- More vaccination information can be found at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.
The County Health and Human Services Agency now publishes the Respiratory Virus Surveillance Report weekly. The report is published every Thursday and tracks key respiratory disease indicators.
For the week ending January 21, 2023, the report shows:
- In the past seven days, 1,831 cases of COVID-19 were reported to the province. The total of the region is now 974,767.
- The 1,831 cases reported in the past week were lower compared to the 2,402 infections reported the previous week.
- Thirteen additional deaths were reported in the week ending January 21, 2023. The total in the region is 5,716.
- Nine of the deceased were 65 years or older.
- Eight of the people had been vaccinated and five had not been vaccinated or had not completed the primary vaccine series.
- All thirteen had underlying medical conditions.
For the week ending January 21, 2023, the report shows the following:
- Two additional flu deaths; the season total is now 39.
- Both had underlying medical conditions.
- Emergency department visits for flu-like illness: 3% of all visits (compared to 3% the week before).
- Lab-confirmed flu cases for the week: 89 (compared to 158 the week before).
- Total lab-confirmed cases to date: 20,638 (compared to 1,472 at the same time last season and a 5,983 previous 5-year average in the same week).
Data updates on the county’s coronavirus-sd.com website will be posted around 5 p.m. Thursday, excluding holidays. More information about flu can be found on the county’s flu website.