What do you want to know about COVID-19 vaccination in Clark County?
In what ways does Clark County prioritize risk populations for COVID-19, such as those who are more affected by race / ethnicity or people who are qualified because of their age but who also have underlying health conditions?
The Washington State Department of Health determines the priority of the vaccine, but Clark County Public Health is working to make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible to high-risk populations within the state. The vaccination sites that the county is developing (mobile and permanent location) are intended to be located near residents who have not been able to easily access the vaccine and among communities and populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19, such as color communities and critical workers in pool settings. The first example of these was the recent mobile clinic for senior care centers. Clark County Public Health intends to open more locations when the vaccine supply allows.
How does the state decide which providers get the vaccine?
Each week, the federal government allocates the vaccine to Washington in the following week. The State Department of Health is responsible for deciding who will receive the vaccine. Local health facilities, pharmacies and vaccination sites request the amount of vaccine they would like to receive each week. The state looks at these requests and the amount of vaccine coming from the federal government and decides how the vaccine should be broken down. The state considers a number of factors, including: proportional population of those eligible in the county, data from providers, providers’ current vaccine inventory and documented throughput (how much they can administer), equity and access to all types of providers (hospitals, pharmacies, mass vaccinations and clinics).
How much vaccine does Clark County request on average per week on average? How much vaccine is given to Clark County in general per week?
Let’s look at the week of February 1st last week. That week, the state requested 358,000 first vaccine doses from the federal government. The state makes this request after examining each hospital, pharmacy, mass vaccination site and clinic that is certified to dispense vaccine. This means that the state believes that providers have the capacity to administer 358,000 vaccines per week. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Washington received only 107,000 doses from the federal government due to limited vaccine supply. In the same week, starting Feb. 1, the county was given 5,450 doses, most of which went to the mass vaccination site. In the last few weeks, Clark County has varied between 1,500 doses assigned to 3,700 doses. The allocation has increased slightly recently, but Clark County has more than 89,000 people who are 65 and older and eligible for vaccination, and that’s just one of the many groups currently eligible. According to data released Wednesday, the state will receive 206,125 vaccine doses from the federal government. This is an increase of 100,000 doses from the week of February 1, but less than the 446,850 requested by the federal government.
If I got a first shot of the vaccine but had trouble setting the second dose, who should I contact?
You must reach the facility that delivered the first dose. The state distributes the second dose to facilities two to three weeks after the first dose. If you can not get another dose at the place where you received your first dose, try planning an appointment with another facility that has the vaccine – just make sure they have the same brand of vaccine as you. have received for your first dose. You can also submit a request through the Clark County Public Health website. If you received your first dose at the Clark County Event Center at Fairgrounds, you will receive a link on the appointment portal to schedule a second dose once you reach the window for a second dose. If you did not receive a link, you can bring the vaccination card you received when you received your first dose of Clark County Fairgrounds marked on it, and the card will be honored, even without an appointment.
I do not have reliable internet access. What is the best way to get on the county vaccine waiting list to get an appointment at the mass vaccination site?
Clark County Public Health has set up a call center to help you complete the vaccination request web form. You can call 888-225-4625 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for help with the form, checking your eligibility, or asking general questions about vaccine access. You can also ask a friend or relative with reliable Internet access to help you navigate waiting lists and appointment portals on the Internet. The State Department of Health also offers a helpline telephone number (1-800-525-0127, then press # or 888-856-5816). However, these figures often have extremely long waiting times.
I have problems with the exhibition portal for the amusement park. What should I do?
Unfortunately, there is not a good answer to this at the moment. The Columbian was in contact with a representative of the appointment portal developer last week. They did not offer very useful information and stopped communication late last week. A Colombian reader recommended choosing a vaccination date later in the week because these times are less popular and more likely to still be available when you complete the sign-up process. If you select an appointment made at the end of the sign-up process, the portal will start you up or have you restart the process.
If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single-dose vaccine, is approved towards the end of the month, it should increase capacity significantly before spring or summer, especially as people do not need another dose. There are hundreds of millions of doses from the already approved vaccines that are also due to arrive in the United States in the summer.
Clark County has received more than 50,000 doses of the vaccine, but has only administered about 32,000 doses. Why are there still thousands of doses for vaccination?
With about 18,000 unused doses available in Clark County, one would think it should be easier to get vaccinated than it is at the moment. Although the county has not administered every dose, it does not mean that these doses are not taken into account. To begin with, vaccination data are behind the actual administration of vaccines with at least a few days, so there is less vaccine available than there seems to be. Many of the doses are also reserved as a booster shot or the second and last dose in the series for those who have received their first dose. Other doses, even if they appear unused, may already be scheduled for administration to a person in the coming days.
Now that the vaccine is out and starting to protect some of our most vulnerable populations, should I still be as careful as I have been in most of the pandemic?
Absolutely. Since the pandemic has passed, COVID-19 has proven to be more of a mutator than originally thought. In recent months, more virulent variations of COVID-19 have emerged in the UK and South Africa. Both varieties have now been seen in the United States. The available vaccines have been shown to be effective against the mutations, but less effective, especially with respect to the South African variety. While the number of COVID-19 cases is declining nationally right now, infections are still higher than they were for most of 2020, and the more infections there are, the more likely it is that the virus will continue to mutate and possibly do vaccines less effective.
Who is eligible for vaccination next time?
You can learn more about Washington’s vaccination plan. Washington is expected to move into its next level of vaccination – Phase 1B Level 2 – by spring. This level will be for high-risk critical workers who are 50 years or older and work in specific ward environments (agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, educators, child care, prisons and prisons, firefighters, public transportation, and law enforcement). The following two levels are also likely to be reached in the spring and summer. Level 3 is for people 16 and older with multiple comorbidities or underlying conditions. Level 4 is for critical workers under the age of 50 – which is the same group as level 2, but just younger. Any phases thereafter are expected to be reached in summer and autumn, but given how slow the rollout has been, it is possible that all phases could be reached later than expected and that many will only receive a vaccine until late autumn.