Whatcom County is getting closer to the 70% milestone. As of July 3 (DOH’s most recent date for vaccination data), 69.7% of Whatcom residents 16 and older have initiated vaccination, and 54% of all Whatcom residents are now fully vaccinated!
We’re Open Now, but More People Need the Vaccine
We reopened last week thanks to widespread vaccination and declining case and hospitalization rates. But before we can close the book on this pandemic, more people will need to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
There’s a lot of people in our county who can’t get vaccinated even if they wanted to, because they’re too young, have too many barriers to getting vaccinated, or they’re medically prevented from vaccination. For them, COVID-19 will remain a serious risk until a large majority of the population gets vaccinated.
And then there are the variants. Variants of concern like Alpha, Gamma and Delta pose serious threats to everyone who isn’t fully vaccinated. As long as the virus has unvaccinated hosts to circulate through, the vaccine will continue to evolve, and we’ll keep seeing new COVID-19 variants.
All of the COVID-19 vaccines in use offer strong protection against every COVID-19 variant. COVID-19 is now a preventable illness.
Pop-up Vaccination Clinics and Other Walk-In Options
There are a number of clinics in the county welcoming walk-ins this week. The vaccine is still 100% free of charge. If you’re already vaccinated, share this list with someone who isn’t!
- CRNA Corps
- 1026 North Forest Street, Bellingham
- Tuesday, July 6, 1-3 p.m.
- Moderna clinic
- Peace Health Cordata
- 4545 Cordata Pkwy, Bellingham
- Tuesday, July 6, and Thursday, July 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
- Pfizer clinic
- Old Lynden Middle School Gym
- 516 Main St, Lynden
- Friday, July 9, 3-6 p.m.
- Vaccine type: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
- You can get tested here, too!
- Lost Giants Cidery
- 1200 Meador Ave, Bellingham
- Friday, July 9, 5-7 p.m.
- Park & Poke WECU parking lot by WinCo
- 140 East Bellis Fair Parkway, Bellingham
- Saturday, July 10, 1-4 p.m.
- Pfizer clinic
- Spanish, Mixteco and Russian translation will be available.
- Kulshan Brewing Co. (K2)
- 1538 Kentucky Street, Bellingham
- Sunday, July 11, 12-2 p.m.
- Moderna clinic
There are lots of other local vaccine providers that currently offer COVID-19 vaccination without an appointment. Go to VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov or call 1-833-VAX-HELP for a complete list of local vaccine providers. You can also text your zip code to GET-VAX (438-829) or VACUNA (822-862) to find a provider near you.
Starting this week, we are adding some new information to the Whatcom County COVID-19 data dashboard. Here’s a rundown of the changes:
- Case rates by Whatcom County age groups. This graph shows case rates broken down by age group, and has a slider that can be adjusted to look at different time periods.
- Hospitalization rates by sub-county areas. Case rates aren’t always a reliable indicator of the prevalence of COVID because so many cases are asymptomatic. However, hospitalizations are a known number. With the incoming variants and the wide range of vaccination rates in sub-county areas, we believe hospitalization rates will give us a sense of the severity of the disease. The numbers are small, so to reduce the chance that individuals might be identified, we are using the dates that testing samples were collected, rather than dates of hospital admissions.
- Changes to the race and ethnicity table. We had not been including Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander info due to small numbers and privacy concerns, but this is no longer an issue and we have begun to include these numbers.
Weekly Vaccine MythBusted: I’m vaccinated, so I never need to wear a mask.
It’s true that the COVID-19 offers strong protection against catching and spreading COVID-19. But it doesn’t offer 100% protection. No vaccine does. And since lots of people either can’t haven’t yet been vaccinated (and some never will be able to), there are certain times and places when you’ll still need to put on a mask. So don’t throw yours out yet!
You must wear a mask in these places, even if you’re vaccinated:
- Child care facilities, camps, K-12 schools, and other youth settings
- Health care settings
- Correctional facilities
- Homeless shelters
- Public transportation
- Businesses that require masks to be worn on their premises
You should wear a mask in these settings, ever if you’re vaccinated:
- Crowded places where unvaccinated people may be present, indoors or outdoors
- When visiting with unvaccinated friends from multiple households
- When visiting people who are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness
- Whenever you feel more comfortable wearing a mask
If you’re unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated, you will still need to wear a mask any time you’re sharing an indoor environment with people you don’t live with, unless you know for a fact you’re the only unvaccinated or partially vaccinated person in the room.
Wondering where to find trusted information from reputable medical experts? Look no further:
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.