SAN DIEGO – Bishop Robert McElroy and Auxiliary Bishops John Dolan and Ramón Bejarano have received the vaccine to protect against COVID-19 – and are encouraging all faithful to do the same when it’s their turn.
They joined other bishops in California in promoting vaccination as a way to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Though the number of new cases has dropped from a peak in January in San Diego County, dozens were still dying daily in February.
The bishops maintain that the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective and that they are in line with Catholic teaching. And they joined their voices to the pope’s, who called getting immunized an ethical decision to protect not only the person receiving the vaccine but those around them.
All vaccination is done by appointment – and it’s been difficult to get one, given the tight supply of vaccines. Public leaders at the federal, state and county levels said that they expected the supply to grow in March.
Health authorities are vaccinating the population in phases. During February, all workers in healthcare settings and those age 65 and older were eligible. Officials expect that those who work in essential services will be eligible starting in March, including first-responders and those who work education, childcare, food and agriculture.
The vaccine is administered in two doses, spaced about three weeks apart. The vaccine is free for those people who receive it at county-operated super stations, clinics and other points of dispensing.
As of Feb. 17, more than 765,000 doses had been delivered to San Diego County. Of those, more than 663,000 had been administered. So far, nearly 18 percent of the population over age 16 has received at least one dose.
Appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may be made online at vaccinationsuperstationsd.com or by phoning 2-1-1.