News Flash

Health - Public Health News

Posted on: May 18, 2021

Whatcom County COVID-19 Vaccine Update for 5/18/21

Vaccine Data

As of May 17, nearly half (48.45%) of all Whatcom County residents have gotten their first dose, and 38.81% are fully vaccinated.

This week, Whatcom County providers are due to receive 600 first doses and 2,640 second doses. For more information, check out our infographic below. 

May 18Whatcom County Vax Progress Infographic

We’ve also added several new vaccine data infographics to our data page. These infographics break down vaccinations by sub-county area, age, gender, and total percent initiating vaccination. Learn more about these new data visuals.

The number of doses received each week will be transitioning to allocation by demand instead of allocation based on population. We will also be moving to a blended inventory model that does not distinguish between first doses and booster doses.

There are still many appointments available from a variety of clinics throughout the county. It’s super easy and convenient to get vaccinated right now, and the more people that get vaccinated, the sooner we can fully reopen. Read on to learn more!

 

Community Vaccination Center Update

This week, the CVC is offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There’s no faster way to go from unvaccinated to vaccinated. You’ll be fully vaccinated two weeks after your one and only shot! Appointments will also be available for people needing their second Moderna dose.

Walk-ins are welcome! Same-day appointments are available. 

Right now, the CVC is not offering the Pfizer vaccine, so only people who are 18 or older can be vaccinated at this site. If you have trouble making an appointment online, please call 360-778-6075. Language assistance is available. 

 

Pop-up Clinics this Week

There are a handful of pop-up clinics happening this week in a variety of places. Any of these could be an easy way to check COVID-19 vaccination off your to-do list. Those places are:

 

Adolescents and Teens Now Eligible for Pfizer Vaccine

Anyone over the age of 12 can now get the Pfizer vaccine. Last week, the Western States Pact adopted the FDA and CDC recommendation to allow the use of Pfizer-BIONTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents and teens ages 12-15. 

The other vaccines currently in use, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are still only available for people 18 and older. After further testing, these vaccines may become available for younger people, but that date has not yet been determined. 

 

Re-opening on June 30

Great, great news! Last week, the Governor announced that Washington State would fully reopen on June 30. But that’s not all: We could fully reopen even sooner if 70% of Washingtonians over the age of 16 get their first dose of any COVID-19 vaccines. 

We can do it, Whatcom! Let’s do our part and help the state exceed expectations by hitting that 70% initiation target.

The Governor announced the reopening plan because current statewide trends in hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 are low and declining. All reopening plans will change if these trends change. If at any point before or after June 30th the state’s ICU occupancy reaches 90%, restrictions will be reinstated. 

 

New Mask Guidance for Fully Vaccinated

Last week, the CDC released masking and social distancing guidelines for the fully vaccinated. Under the new guidelines, if you’re fully vaccinated, the CDC has determined that you do not need to wear a mask or socially distance. The vaccines have proven to be incredibly effective at preventing both infection and transmission, meaning if you are vaccinated, it’s highly unlikely you will get COVID-19, and highly unlikely you will spread it.

Under the new guidance, you’ll still have to wear a mask and physically distance in medical care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, schools and public transportation, even if you’re fully vaccinated. Businesses may still require social distancing, mask wearing, and/or proof of vaccination on their premises. You are required to comply with any business’s rules regarding COVID-19 precautions.

We are awaiting further guidance from DOH and will provide updates as soon as we receive them. 

This development is a HUGE incentive to get vaccinated, and to finish your vaccination series if you’ve started. The CDC’s new guidance only applies to the fully vaccinated. If you aren’t fully vaccinated, you still need to follow all COVID-19 safety precautions. You aren’t considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the final dose in your vaccine series. 

For more information on what to do after you’re vaccinated, refer to the CDC’s When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated guidance.   

 

Weekly Vaccine MythBusted: Natural immunity is just as good as vaccine-given immunity

We don’t know yet how long immunity lasts after COVID-19 infection. The strength of natural immunity provided by COVID-19 infection varies greatly depending on severity of infection, but the immunity provided by the COVID-19 vaccine is dependably strong and safe. And you don’t have to suffer COVID-19 illness and risk hospitalization, death, or long-COVID if you get your immunity from vaccination. 

While we don’t know how much natural immunity is provided by any one COVID-19 infection, we do know that getting vaccinated after you’ve had COVID-19 can only improve your immunity to the virus. Just make sure you don’t get vaccinated too soon after you’ve recovered from COVID-19. Talk to your healthcare provider if you’ve recently recovered from COVID-19 and are seeking vaccination. For answers to common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, refer to the 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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