<strong>Michael Dashiell</strong>/Olympic Peninsula News Group
Robin Worth-McIntyre, a nurse technician at Avamere Olympic Rehabilitation of Sequim, gets a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot from Walgreens pharmacist Steve Sommers.

Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group Robin Worth-McIntyre, a nurse technician at Avamere Olympic Rehabilitation of Sequim, gets a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot from Walgreens pharmacist Steve Sommers.

Nursing facility vaccinates seniors, staff members

Distributions also being planned for Clallam County jail

SEQUIM — Avamere Olympic Rehabilitation of Sequim has begun vaccinating its residents and staff members, in what the Kim Gray, director of marketing and admissions, said was a first among skilled nursing facilities on the Olympic Peninsula.

Walgreens staffers were on hand last Tuesday to distribute up to 150 vaccinations at the facility that provides nursing, rehabilitation, long-term care and respite care.

Gray said about 55 residents (72 percent) initially signed up to receive the vaccine, along with 65 staff members, for 110 total.

Those numbers climbed to more than 125 by late Tuesday morning, said Julie Martin, Avamere’s director of nursing.

“This is working really well,” said Cindy Crawford, infection preventionist at Avamere.

Some of those who declined to get the vaccine are short-term residents who would not still be at the facility to get the vaccine’s second shot slated for Jan. 26 and didn’t want to return for the second dose, staff said.

Those who receive the vaccine go through a pre-screening and screening process; some who have medical conditions such as allergies to ingredients in the vaccine or seizure issues preclude them from receiving a dose, Crawford said.

Those who receive the vaccination are then monitored by medical personnel for at least 15 minutes, and the facility has nursing staff and epinephrine shots available for anyone feeling adverse reactions, she said.

Getting a vaccine shot is not mandatory, staff said.

Nursing home administrator Heather Jeffers said Avamare tests its approximate 130 staff members for COVID-19 twice a week.

Avamere also set up a prize table for staff to encouraged them to get vaccinated.

Almost 70,000 people in Washington state had received a vaccine by Dec. 31, according to the state Department of Health.

Vaccines are being distributed across the state to individuals in the Tier 1 category that includes high-risk workers in health care settings; high-risk first responders; and residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other community-based settings where most individuals older than 65 are receiving care, supervision or assistance, according to state officials.

Clallam County emergency officials noted that immediate vaccine distributions also will go to the jail, where an outbreak previously has been reported, and respiratory clinics.

Under the federal Pharmacy Partnership Program, Walgreens and CVS have several onsite clinics planned specifically for long-term care facilities in the next couple of weeks, state officials noted.

The vaccinations will help bring overall COVID-19 rates down, but facilities such as Avamere will await a change in state guidelines before they reopen to visitors. The facility has been closed to residents and staff only since Feb. 29.

“The facility will still remain closed to visitors until the guidelines change on reopening,” Gray said.

For more information about Washington state’s distribution of COVID-19 vaccines — including the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, plans for vaccine distribution and more — see www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/Vaccine.

_________

Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

More in News

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Bill Chastain of Port Angeles receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Shaina Gonzales of the North Olympc Healthcare Network during Saturday's vaccination clinic at Port Angeles High School.
Appointment-only system used in Port Angeles

An appointment-only system of scheduling allowed Port Angeles to… Continue reading

Sequim group forms against present council

Petition urges reinstatement of city manager

Students to get more in-person learning

Schedules vary among districts

Don Hoglund is looking forward to staying at  his namesake workplace of some four decades -- under the new owner. Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News
(Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Vaccination clinics to begin this week

First shots going to those 85 and older

Dr. Molly Martin, deputy medical director at the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, and Community Emergency Response Team member Jim Johnston help individuals get registered for COVID-19 vaccinations at the tribe’s clinic on Jan. 14. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
Huge turnouts seen at drive-through clinics

Drive-through vaccination clinics in Sequim and Forks tried residents’… Continue reading

EYE ON JEFFERSON: County to consider comment on Navy training plan

The Jefferson County commissioners will consider commenting on the proposed mitigated determination… Continue reading

EYE ON CLALLAM: Port Angeles council to consider lowered speed limit on South Lincoln

Peninsula Daily News The Port Angeles City Council will conduct a first… Continue reading

Most Read