COVID 2022

COVID PM: Vaccine hesitancy is a thing in Santa Cruz ... and elsewhere

Good evening Lookouters, it’s Chris Fusco and Tulsi Kamath filling in for Mark, who is off today and tomorrow. We have a good mix of inoculation content for the first day that all Californians age 50 and older are eligible to get the vaccine, like Gov. Gavin Newsom, 53, did today.

But ...

DO ALL SANTA CRUZANS WANT THE SHOT(S)?: The short answer appears to be ‘no’ — especially if they work in law enforcement.
WHAT ABOUT VAX ACCEPTANCE STATEWIDE? A new poll breaks down the numbers, and it’s got state lawmakers talking.
30% OF GOLDEN STATE NOW HAS AT LEAST ONE DOSE: This level of coverage, though far short of herd immunity, provides some defense against the COVID spikes seen elsewhere in the U.S., officials say.

With that, let’s get to it:

Saying ‘no’ to the vaccine? In Santa Cruz County, yes, that’s happening

A member of the Santa Cruz Fire Department signs up to get a COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021.
A member of the Santa Cruz Fire Department signs up to get a COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

VACCINE WATCH, PART 1: Even in a largely liberal county like Santa Cruz, vaccine hesitancy — or at least delay — is common, data obtained by Lookout from local education, health care, law enforcement and fire services agencies shows. Educators are more likely to accept the vaccine than those in law enforcement; those who live in Santa Cruz are much more likely to want to be vaccinated than those in Watsonville; and not all health care workers have been vaccinated. Robin Estrin, a frequent Lookout contributor, unearthed quite a bit here, so read the whole thing.

Will lawmakers take action to win over vaccine skeptics?

A man gets his temperature taken before getting the COVID-19 vaccine
Nurse Daniel Zanales fills syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Thursday at the South Central Family Health Center in Los Angeles. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

VACCINE WATCH, PART 2: Santa Cruz County isn’t totally unique when it comes to vaccine holdouts. With millions of them, the state is holding off on tough measures to get vaccine compliance — for now. But if events and ads aren’t enough, how far will legislators go? Ben Christopher of our partner CalMatters takes a deep dive on that subject here.

30% of Californians have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose: ‘It transforms everything’

Alameda County health workers prepare syringes
Alameda County health workers prepare syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a distribution clinic at St. Rose hospital in Hayward on Jan. 27, 2021. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

VACCINE WATCH, PART 3: More than 30% of Californians are now at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 — a hopeful milestone that comes as the state dramatically expands who is eligible to receive the shots. And Gov. Newsom says California expects to receive 2.4 million total doses next week — a 33% increase from two weeks ago. Read more from our partners at the LA Times here.

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership’s (MBEP) Blue Paper makes recommendations to address water-related barriers to...

More from here & elsewhere

Taxpayers don’t know how many jobs PPP loans saved during the pandemic. No one counted (LA Times)
Possible side effects of getting a COVID-19 vaccine (CDC)
More than 11,000 cases of a troubling variant reported in the US. These states have the highest numbers (CNN)
New Jersey’s Covid surge is worsening, but government says no extra vaccines heading its way (NBC News)

That’s it for this evening folks! Even though he’s off, Mark is still looking for your stories of getting the vaccine, so be sure to write him with what you’re learning at

Chris Fusco and Tulsi Kamath
Lookout COVID-PM stand-ins