race for a vaccine

Contra Costa County Health Officials Encourage Residents to Get Vaccinated

"This is serious, it's not a game"

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Vaccine recipient Tryonne Barnes knows better than most the importance of being vaccinated, especially after his cousin passed away due to the virus.

His cousin was a 46-year-old Muni bus driver from Antioch who died from COVID-19 last year.

"This is serious, it's not a game," Barnes said. "I recommend everyone get vaccinated."

Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said now that a majority of the county’s elderly population is vaccinated, it’s the younger unvaccinated people that are getting the deadly virus.

"Not getting the vaccine means you’re still at risk for COVID, and COVID is getting more and more deadly," he said.

He told NBC Bay Area the county saw 11 virus-related deaths last week. Three of those people were in their 60s, two in their 50s and other two in their 40s.

Despite Contra Costa County having plenty of vaccine shots available and walk-in clinics that don't require an appointment, the pace has slowed down.

On Wednesday, only over 50 people got vaccinated at a vaccination site in Pittsburg.

"We want to encourage people to get the vaccine," Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover said.

The county hopes those who are hesitant will have a change of heart. Anthony Davi said he was frustrated he couldn’t get an appointment early on, but having a clinic in his neighborhood made it easy.

"If we all do this this, will get over faster," he said. "I’m a firm believer in that."

Barne's cousin died before vaccines were available. He said he's not going to pass on getting protected.

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