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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: April 6, 2021

Whatcom County COVID-19 Vaccine Update for 4/6/21

We’re making progress! As of April 3, 31.32% of Whatcom County residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 20.10% of our community members are fully vaccinated. As of Sunday, April 4, 72% of Whatcom County residents 65 years or older have received their first dose of the vaccine! 

Providers in Whatcom County are due to receive 6,840 first doses and 3,140 second doses COVID-19 vaccine for the week of April 4th.

See the graphic below for more local vaccine data. 

Whatcom County Vax Progress Infographic 4.6

Vaccine Data and Tribal Health Vaccination

We recently learned that the vaccination data reported in the DOH COVID-19 data dashboard does not include data for most vaccinations completed by Tribal health providers in Whatcom County. As a result, the data we report underestimates the number of people who have received one or two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • In Washington, some Tribal public health entities operate using a separate and parallel system to state and local public health jurisdictions. While Tribal public health departments coordinate and collaborate with state and local health departments, as sovereign nations, they most often interact directly with the U.S. federal government directly.
  • In Whatcom County, Tribal public health departments receive COVID-19 vaccines directly from the federal government and use a federal vaccination data system, the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS), to record vaccine administration data.
  • In contract, Washington State Department of Health (DOH), local health jurisdictions, and vaccine providers enrolled through DOH use a state vaccine data system, the Washington State Immunization Information System (WAIIS). Like VAMS, WAIIS also houses patient-level immunization data. 
  • Vaccination data in our COVID-19 data dashboard is extracted from WAIIS. Since data from VAMS is not regularly imported into WAIIS, the vaccination data we report does not include the vaccines administered by Lummi Tribal Health Center or most of the vaccinations administered by Nooksack Tribal Health Center.

This means more people in our county have been vaccinated than we currently report. Both Tribal health centers in our community have generously vaccinated many Whatcom County residents. WCHD is grateful for these efforts and the work our Tribal colleagues have done to help protect our community and bring us closer to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working with the Tribal health centers to better understand their vaccine administration data.

Community Vaccination Center Update

The next CVC clinic will be held on Saturday, April 10 from 9:00am to 6:00pm, and 900 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are available. You can register for the clinic online at prepmod.doh.wa.gov beginning Wednesday, April 4 at 9:30 a.m. Anyone who is eligible is welcome to sign up. Currently, individuals in Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tiers 1-4 are eligible to be vaccinated in Washington State. 

If you don’t get an appointment time for the CVC clinic, there’s still a chance you can be vaccinated! Sign up to be on the “Waiting List”. If doses are available at the end of the day, you will get a call. At the last CVC on Saturday, April 3, over 40 people were vaccinated from the Waiting List! Be aware that the Waiting List is only for that clinic day. The CVC does not maintain an ongoing Waiting List.

If you’ve had difficulty using PrepMod in the past, check out our PrepMod video tutorial, available in English and Spanish. For more information about what to expect at the CVC, visit www.vaccinatewhatcom.org and watch our videos in English and Spanish, produced by BTV and Veritas Media.

If you don’t have access to the internet or you need other language assistance, you can also call 360-778-6075 to make an appointment. Please do not call to make an appointment if you’re able to schedule online. Online scheduling is much faster, and by not calling, you can help keep our phone lines open for the people who need assistance most

How to Search PrepMod for the Community Vaccination Clinic

The Community Vaccination Center at Bellingham Technical College shows up best when you follow these steps in PrepMod:

  • Check “COVID-19 Vaccination” under “Which service(s) are you seeking?”
  • Type “Bellingham” in the “Search by Name of Location” search bar. 
  • Leave the zip code field and all other search bars blank. 

The CVC at BTC should be the first clinic to show up on the screen in PrepMod if these steps are followed. As a reminder, the clinic will not go live until 9:30am on Wednesday. It will not show up in PrepMod before that time. 

PrepMod step by step

Vaccine Eligibility Updates

Currently, anyone in Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tiers 1-4 are eligible to be vaccinated in Washington State. All adults over the age of 16 will be eligible on April 15, 2021. Click here for more information about Washington’s vaccine phases. 

Travel Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Travel, both domestically and internationally, is still not recommended. However, CDC recently released new guidance for vaccinated individuals who wish to travel. People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine can travel safely within the United States.

If you are fully vaccinated, take the following steps to protect others if you travel:

During Travel:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

After Travel:

  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

International Travel:

Learn more about guidelines for travel for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals from WA DOH and CDC

More Information

More information about the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine planning, and vaccine safety can be found on the DOH’s COVID-19 vaccine web page at www.covidvaccinewa.org. For information about COVID-19 vaccination in Whatcom County, visit our webpage at www.whatcomcounty.us/covidvaccine

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