Increased vaccine supply expected on Peninsula in April

Clinics continue for those in specified age groups

Vaccination supplies are expected to increase this month, with production increasing on Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and the addition of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

That is expected to help boost the number of doses the North Olympic Peninsula will receive, but large increases aren’t expected until April through the summer, local health officers said.

On Tuesday, Clallam County confirmed two new cases of COVID-19, while Jefferson County confirmed one new case, according to county pubic health data.

Appointments open at 9 a.m. Wednesday at http:// vaccine.clallam.net/register for the Port Angeles High School and Sequim vaccination clinics for Clallam residents 65 and older, or 50 and older in multi-generational households.

Those who must schedule by phone can call 360-417-2430.

A multi-generational household is defined as a person older than 50 living with grandchildren or older relatives, or if they provide care to an older relative or grandchildren or a loved one with disabilities, said Dr. Allison Berry, Clallam County health officer.

Jefferson Healthcare is continuing to make vaccination appointments through its “When is it my turn?” list for residents 65 and older, and it is developing plans on how to incorporate those 50 and older in multi-generational households, said Amy Yaley, hospital spokesperson.

Jefferson County residents 65 and older or Jefferson Healthcare patients can sign up for the list at https://jeffersonhealthcare.org/covid-19-vaccine.

Berry believes Clallam County has vaccinated about 70 percent of the 65-and-older population and said a large percentage of those 50 and older in multi-generational households will be able to receive a vaccination this weekend.

“We think that we’re starting to have reached all of the people who want to get vaccinated in that [65 and older] age group, but we want to make sure that we don’t miss anybody who is eligible and otherwise was having trouble getting services,” Berry said.

Planning for large-scale vaccination clinics at the high schools in east Jefferson County is continuing as officials prepare for an expected increase in vaccination doses later this month, said Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer.

Locke expects vaccination dose numbers to have a large increase between April and June, and President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccines for all adult Americans by the end of May, two months earlier than anticipated.

The Biden administration announced drugmaker Merck & Co. will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved shot.

While vaccination efforts are increasing, both health officers urged residents to use caution as virus activity continues on the North Olympic Peninsula, and people should continue to wear face masks, social distance, avoid large indoor gatherings and practice good hand hygiene, they said.

Clallam County’s test positivity — the percentage of tests returned positive — was 2.6 percent from Feb. 13-27, according to Clallam County Public Health data.

Jefferson County’s test positivity was 1.03 percent for Feb. 22-28.

So far this month, Clallam County confirmed two cases of COVID-19, about 0.2 percent of the 1,003 cases confirmed since March 2020, according to Clallam County data.

Jefferson County has confirmed one case this month, about 0.3 percent of the 336 it has confirmed since March 2020, according to Jefferson County Public Health data.

Nine COVID-19 cases were active as of Tuesday in Clallam County. Jefferson County had five active cases.

Clallam County is in the state’s moderate-risk category with a case rate of 38 per 100,000 population during the past two weeks as of Tuesday.

Jefferson County is in the state’s low-risk category with a case rate of 18.81 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Saturday.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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