Vaccinations of the North Olympic Peninsula’s senior population will continue Tuesday as the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe hosts another clinic in Sequim and Jefferson Healthcare opened vaccinations of the 1B group.
Jefferson Healthcare also announced the vaccination age has been lowered to 80 from 85 for Jefferson County residents or for people who have a Jefferson Healthcare primary care provider, spokesperson Amy Yaley said.
Vaccination clinic information for both Clallam and Jefferson can be found at https://tinyurl.com/PDN-VaccineClinics.
Clallam County confirmed seven new cases on COVID-19 Monday.
No cases were reported from Jefferson Healthcare testing on Monday, but the statewide database that tracks those that didn’t test in county was down Monday, so Health Officer Dr. Tom Locke said cases could be added today.
Also on Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the state is moving into vaccination phase 1B, with people 65 and older included, as well those 50 and older in multigenerational households.
Inslee also announced an updated statewide vaccine distribution and administration plan to increase the number of Washingtonians vaccinated and establish infrastructure capable of mass vaccinations in the coming months. With the expanded vaccine distribution system, the state set a goal of vaccinating 45,000 Washingtonians per day.
Included in the plan is the state Vaccine Command and Coordination Center, a public-private partnership to boost vaccine distribution efforts. The collaboration includes Washington corporations, labor unions, health care groups and government entities, Inslee said.
“This is a massive effort, and as noble as any cause will be in 2021: Because this is the year we choose to get vaccinated, Washington,” Inslee said during a press conference Monday. “We are removing as many impediments as possible to Washingtonians getting vaccinated; we are going to deliver every dose that comes into our state.
“We will still be dependent on the federal government for doses, but we are doing everything we can once it gets here.”
Counties will continue to have the ability to further limit the eligibility groups due to the current shortage of vaccine in comparison to the thousands that comprise the full 1B group, Locke said.
The limit on age and not including the multigenerational household members on the Peninsula is due to the limited amount of vaccine that is currently available. In Jefferson County alone, 37 percent of its population is 65 or older, equating to more than 11,000 people, Locke said.
“If we had enough vaccine to cover all 11,000 people in Jefferson County who are over the age of 65, then we would be deliriously happy,” Locke said, “but we don’t have anything close to that.
“So, within those eligibility groups, we’re trying to prioritize the groups who are most at risk of suffering serious COVID complications.”
So far this month, Clallam County has confirmed 122 cases, about 14 percent of the 871 it has confirmed since March, according to Clallam County Public Health data.
Jefferson County has confirmed 52 cases of COVID-19, about 19.1 percent of the 272 it has confirmed since March, according to Jefferson County Public Health data.
Ninety-six COVID-19 cases were active as of Monday in Clallam County, with one person hospitalized.
Jefferson County had 22 active cases.
The test positivity on the Peninsula — the percentage of tests returned positive — was 8.5 percent in Clallam County for Dec. 29 to Jan. 12, and 3.18 percent in Jefferson County for Jan. 4-10.
Clallam County had a case rate of 154 per 100,000 population for the two weeks prior as of Monday.
Jefferson County’s case rate was at 125.39 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Jan. 11. Due to the holiday, it was not calculated Monday.
Locke will provide an updated case rate during his briefing with the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners at 9:45 a.m. today, he said.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at email@example.com.