Elena Lopez of Chula Vista, an airport worker, gets a shot at a labor union distribution site in San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego County public health officials reported Thursday a 23% increase in vaccine supply this week as the rate of new COVID-19 cases remains stable.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher the county has over 145,000 doses on hand right now and is prepared to surge to 50,000 shots a day if the vaccine supply continues to grow.

“We do expect the supply of vaccines to significantly increase,” he said at the county’s weekly press briefing on the pandemic.

However, he cautioned that demand will still exceed supply with vaccination now open to everyone 50 and older.

Fletcher said the county is not experiencing the uptick in new cases seen in other parts of the country, citing a stable rate in the range of 2% to 3% of daily tests.

“Our case numbers continue to be very stable,” he said. “The vast majority of folks continue to be very careful.”

He said that San Diego could quickly move from the current red tier of infection to orange when the state of California completes an equity goal of vaccinating 4 million people in disadvantaged communities.

“Once we hit that 4 million point, the tier levels revise,” he said. “The numbers that are red will then be orange.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.