These 5 Bay Area cities may be 'most at risk' for new COVID-19 infections, data shows

SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Experts say unvaccinated neighborhoods across the Bay Area are driving most of the transmission fueling our fourth COVID-19 surge, and there are a few areas in particular that stand out.

Our data journalism team compiled COVID-19 vaccination rates for zip codes that have at least 5,000 individuals or more that are part of the 12+ vaccine eligible population. The areas that ranked high on the list are pockets of Solano and Alameda counties. The list includes zip codes in Berkeley, Vacaville, Suisun City, Dixon, and Fairfield -- where 45 to 60 percent of the eligible population living in each of these zip codes are not fully vaccinated.

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"A lot of this transmission is in households and transmits the virus to other people," said UCSF's Dr. George Rutherford. "Delta is just so much more infectious."

Bay Area health officials are pushing for more vaccinations, especially in counties where the level of community transmission is considered high.

"Fairfield is legitimately lower than we want it to be," said Dr. Bela Matyas, a health officer for Solano County. "This is a neighborhood that is very stressed economically. This is one where we've put a lot of effort into popup clinics."

Dr. Matyas told ABC7 his teams have ramped up efforts to prioritize vaccinations in high-risk zip codes by hosting popup clinics and door-to-door outreach for homebound seniors, schools, and businesses.

"We even set up sites at McDonald's," he said. "We also go directly into homeless camps."

Solano County currently has the lowest vaccination rate in the Bay Area.

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"The 30 percent of our residents who have not been vaccinated, I would not describe them as hesitant as much as I would describe them as reluctant," he said. "They simply don't want to be vaccinated."

Dr. Matyas said the reluctance stems from fear of side effects to distrust of government. He's especially worried about zip code 94533 in Fairfield.

"That particular zip code is a very diverse zip code who represent a lot of those concerns," he said.

Solano County health officials have hosted close to two dozen popup clinics in zip code 94533, but Matyas said only around five people show up per clinic.

"It's concerning," he said. "We need to get those numbers up."

CDC COVID-19 Transmission Levels by U.S. County

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