By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County has launched a new push to get more people vaccinated, even though the region has one of the highest vaccination rates of any large county in the United States.

“The vaccine is the only way we can get back to a normal life,” said Dr. Ranjani Chandramouli of Gardner Health Services in San Jose.

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Gardner works closely with Santa Clara County to provide services in several clinics in the downtown, south and east San Jose neighborhoods. The clinics are now open for COVID tests and vaccinations to a wide range of patients.

“It doesn’t matter if they don’t have an appointment. They can just come in off the street and come in and get taken care of,” said Sylvia LeBad, Clinic Manager at the Comprecare facility on Alum Rock Avenue.

For 14-year-old Getsemani Campuzano of San Jose, starting high school with in-person classes was the motivating factor to get an appointment for a COVID vaccine. She got her second dose Wednesday afternoon.

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“It feels good knowing that I’m going to be OK from COVID,” Campuzano said.

Clinics are seeing an increase in foot traffic with schools, employers and many bars and restaurants now requiring proof of vaccination.

Santa Clara County’s vaccination numbers are high, with 84 percent of residents having at least one dose, and 78 percent being fully vaccinated. The county’s new efforts are in response to the increase in spread among the unvaccinated, and the new Delta variant.

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“We know that this variant, the Delta variant is highly transmissible. And because of that, we know even the vaccinated can get sick and potentially transmit the virus. For that reason, we need the bar even higher. We need it as high as it will go,” said Dr. Rocio Luna, Deputy Santa Clara County Executive.