In these updates, we will include news and updates, summarize publicly-available COVID-19 and vaccination data, and provide some context and details to help you understand what’s happening with COVID-19 in our community.
Each update will cover data for the week ending the previous Saturday. You can find the weekly data report, plus additional data, on our data page at www.whatcomcounty.us/coviddata.
Moderna and J&J boosters
Boosters for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are now available in Washington state. You can get a booster dose anywhere COVID-19 vaccines are offered, with or without a referral. To see if you need a booster, go to WhatcomCounty.US/CovidVaccine.
Booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were authorized this week by the FDA and recommended by the CDC for certain groups.
Moderna boosters are authorized for the same groups that are eligible for Pfizer booster, which includes anyone who finished their vaccination series at least 6 months ago and is:
Johnson & Johnson boosters are authorized more broadly. Anyone 18 or older who finished their Johnson & Johnson vaccination series at least 2 months prior is eligible for a booster.
The CDC’s recommendations also allow for mix-and-matching brands for booster doses. Booster recipients may now choose whichever vaccine brand they prefer for their booster dose, even if it’s a different brand than they received for their original vaccination series.
More information about the CDC’s latest recommendations for boosters can be found in the CDC’s media release.
Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 Test Required in King County
Traveling to King County soon? Make sure you bring proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID test results with you. Beginning October 25, people ages 12 and older will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter many indoor and outdoor events and establishments in King County. More information about where proof of vaccination will be required and what kinds of proof will be accepted is available on King County’s website.
This update focuses on COVID-19 data through the previous Saturday. We have to wait for complete data from a variety of sources, so our data reports will always cover the previous week. You can find the weekly data report, plus additional data, on our data page.
Cases. This reporting week, COVID cases leveled off:
Hospitalizations. During this reporting period, 19 Whatcom County residents were hospitalized because of COVID-19; 15 (79%) were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. According to the October 13 DOH report on COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths by Vaccination Status, hospitalization rates are many times higher among unvaccinated residents. For Washington residents 12 – 64 years old, the hospitalization rate per 100,000 is 19 times higher for unvaccinated residents than for vaccinated residents. For those 65 years and older, the hospitalization rate was nine times higher among unvaccinated residents.
Deaths. During this reporting period, there were three deaths due to COVID-19:
According to the October 13 DOH report mentioned above, unvaccinated individuals 65 and older are more than 9 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals 65 and older. (More explanation is planned for an upcoming report.)
Data. As of October 18, 61.2% of all Whatcom County residents have been fully vaccinated. Out of everyone in the county who’s eligible, currently everyone 12 and older, 76% have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Clinics. You can get vaccinated for COVID-19 at most places you’d go for a flu vaccine, like grocery stores, pharmacies and health care clinics. In addition to these, there are a number of clinics happening all over the county next week:
The Health Department posts regularly on Facebook. Here’s a list of this week’s posts.