Appointment slots for the upcoming weekend vaccination clinics in Port Angeles were filled by early afternoon Wednesday.
Between the four days this weekend and next, the Port Angeles clinics have about 500 appointments scheduled for each day, said Dr. Allison Berry Unthank, Clallam County health officer.
Also on Wednesday, Clallam County confirmed 12 new cases of COVID-19, while Jefferson County confirmed two new cases, said Unthank and Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer.
The new cases in Clallam County are tied to New Year’s Eve gatherings and a small unnamed church that is under an outbreak investigation by Clallam County Public Health. The church now has a total of eight cases, Unthank said.
The number of people attempting to schedule vaccination appointments in Port Angeles overloaded the county server and crashed the website at www.clallam.net/HHS on Wednesday morning.
Shipments of vaccine from the state currently are irregular due to other areas like Seattle that are behind in vaccinating the 1A group, but it’s hoped that the shipments will become more regular in a couple weeks, Locke said.
“Our plan and hope is to, as soon as we have adequate vaccinations available in our community, have mass vaccination events weekly until we can get the majority of our population vaccinated,” Unthank said.
Due to the limited amount of vaccine, Clallam County is focusing on getting vaccinations to people older than 70, and Jefferson County is restricting vaccines to people older than 85, Unthank and Locke said.
Additional age groups and caregivers in multi-generational households older than 50 will be added later.
Jefferson Healthcare opened appointment sign-ups for next week on Thursday, and Sequim and Forks residents also have vaccination clinics this week, with information at www. peninsuladailynews.com.
Jefferson Healthcare is taking appointments starting at 9 a.m. today for next week for Jefferson residents older than 85 through its vaccine webpage, https:// jeffersonhealthcare.org/covid-19-vaccine, or by calling emergency management at 360-344-9791, said Amy Yaley, Jefferson Healthcare spokesperson.
Tri-Area Pharmacy will partner with Jefferson Healthcare to help administer vaccines and will use the above link for appoints as well. Appointments will be available Tuesday, Jan. 19 and Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Tri-Area Pharmacy in Port Hadlock.
So far this month, Clallam County has confirmed 105 cases, about 12.3 percent of the 854 it has confirmed since March, according to Clallam County Public Health data.
Jefferson County has confirmed 40 cases of COVID-19, about 15.4 percent of the 260 it has confirmed since March, according to Jefferson County Public Health data.
Ninety-eight COVID-19 cases were active as of Wednesday in Clallam County.
Jefferson County had 17 active cases, with two cases currently hospitalized and one in the Intensive Care Unit.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].