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Vaccine supply issues continue, cause Del Mar site to shutter this weekend

DEL MAR — COVID-19 vaccine shortfalls will close the Del Mar Fairgrounds vaccination super site again this weekend, and a technical error caused 1,800 vaccine appointments for this week to be rescheduled, Scripps
Health announced March 9.

Scripps, which runs the Del Mar site, will be closed Friday through Sunday due to the low number of vaccine doses that were delivered to Scripps for the week.

The station is scheduled to reopen Monday.

Patients who had appointments on one of the three closed days are being rescheduled for either Thursday or early next week automatically through the MyTurn online appointment system.

Scripps said a programming error on the MyTurn system offered nearly 2,000 more appointment slots on Wednesday than actual vaccine doses received. Some of those will be rescheduled to Thursday.

Patients with second-dose appointments will be rescheduled from Friday, Saturday and Sunday to Monday, as the county and state were unable to provide Scripps with additional doses to make up for the programming error.

Scripps is still waiting for the MyTurn system to notify patients of these changes.

The issues at the Del Mar site are just the latest in the county’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccine supply problem. Previous shortages have closed the UC San Diego Health-run Petco Park vaccination super station multiple times.

However, the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived in the region Monday and is being distributed the same way as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The latest COVID-19 vaccine is 72% effective in research trials in the United States, compared to about 94% for Moderna and 95% for Pfizer after those vaccines required two doses.

However, San Diego County public health officials say the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is just as effective as its counterparts at preventing serious illness from COVID-19 and has been tested against virus variants. All currently available vaccines were 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths during trials, officials said.

“San Diegans should get whichever vaccine is available when it’s their turn to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “All three vaccines are excellent at preventing people from getting seriously ill from COVID-19.”

As of Tuesday, more than 1.15 million vaccine doses have been delivered to the region, and over 1 million have been logged as administered.

Of those vaccinated to date, nearly 342,000 people, or 12.7% of San Diegans 16 and older, are fully immunized.

More than 643,000 county residents — or 23.9% — have received at least one shot of a two-dose vaccine.