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 441 new cases of COVID-19 and eight virus-related deaths Wednesday, with nearly 90% of the county’s eligible population now at least partially vaccinated.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported Wednesday that more than 2.51 million, or 89.7%, of county residents 12 and older are partially vaccinated, while close to 2.26 million, or 80.5%, of that group are fully vaccinated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, and said Americans can choose a different shot from their original inoculation as a booster.

That means all three vaccines authorized in the United States can also be given as boosters to some groups. The shots will be free and available at pharmacies, doctors offices and vaccination sites — possibly as soon as Friday.

Since Oct. 13, the county counted 37 deaths, bringing the region’s total to 4,178. A total of 23 men and 14 women died between Aug. 27 and Oct. 17. Five were 80 years of age or older, 11 were in their 70s, 12 were in their 60s, seven were in their 50s, one was in their 40s and one was in their 30s. Seven of the people who died were fully vaccinated and 30 were not fully vaccinated. Seven of the people who died were fully vaccinated and 30 were not fully vaccinated.

Wednesday’s data brought the county’s cumulative case totals to 365,670 cases. A total of 3,105 cases were reported in the past week — Oct. 13 through Tuesday — compared to 3,241 cases the previous week. In the past 30 days, there were 262 COVID-19 hospitalizations; 248 people were not fully vaccinated and 14 were fully vaccinated.

San Diego County’s seven-day rolling average case rate per 100,000 residents is 14.7 overall, 8.3 for fully vaccinated people and 24.5 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

The number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals Wednesday was 276, an increase of 17 from Tuesday, with 81 of them in intensive care — one more than Tuesday — according to the latest state figures.

A total of 16,255 tests were reported to the county on Wednesday, and the percentage of new positive cases over the past week was 2.8%.

Additionally, 35 new community outbreaks were confirmed in the past seven days: 19 in grade school settings, five in business settings, three in daycare/preschool/childcare settings, two in fitness/gym settings, one in a college/university setting, one in a healthcare setting, one in a preschool setting, one in a restaurant setting, one in a restaurant/bar setting and one in a retail setting.

Updated at 7:50 a.m., Thursday, October 21, 2021

City News Service and Reuters contributed to this report.

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