EL GRANADA (KPIX) — Some cities in San Mateo County have among the highest vaccination rates in the Bay Area, but there are a handful of spots along the coast that are lagging significantly behind.
Alongside its coastline, San Mateo County health officials are on a mission to improve vaccination rates.
“Folks who live on the coast are fairly independent, they don’t live in these very congested communities,” said Darryl Lampkin, a Health Equity Management Analyst with San Mateo County.
Around 66% of people 12 and older in El Granada have received their first dose of the vaccine, and around 53% of people in Moss Beach have received their first dose, according to county data. That’s low compared to San Mateo County’s overall rate, which is around 93%.
“We do have to take into consideration that there are some population estimates that we are looking at, and we’re trying to understand if in fact what is being reflected in that data is what our community partners are seeing on the ground,” Lampkin said. “We’ve been working with several different community groups on the coast to stand up some pop-up vaccine clinics.”
One of those groups is the non-profit organization Coastside Hope, which is based in El Granada. Lampkin says they’ll host a weekly pop-up clinic every Friday.
“We have the ability to offer an element of trust to our community members,” said Coastside Hope Executive Director Judith Guerrero. “We bank on the idea that if people are hearing information from us and receiving services from us, they’re going to feel a little bit more comfortable coming to us than going to a clinic in San Mateo.”
Longtime El Granada local James Boyle told KPIX 5 he is fully vaccinated, but has a theory as to why the rate is lower on his part of the coast.
“We’re a little more spread out here, you got more room, so you don’t feel like you’re in contact as much,” he said. “I’ve got my two shots, but I do respect the fact that people have to make their own decisions.”
At this time, San Mateo County is not considering putting a health order into place that mandates vaccines, according to a county spokesperson. On the Peninsula, The Millbrae City Council discussed the idea of putting one in place this week, but ultimately decided against it.
Back on the coast, Lampkin says he hopes the clinics will serve as places where people can both get vaccinated and also get their questions about the vaccine answered.
“We really have to be strategic and understand that it’s going to be the incremental progress that we make,” he said. “If we get 15-20 folks at each of these clinics, we would consider that a success. In populations where the numbers are fairly small, that really adds up in terms of percentages.”