Peninsula reports no new COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Most appointments for vaccine unaffected by delays, Clallam health officer says

The North Olympic Peninsula was clear of new COVID-19 cases Thursday as vaccination efforts continued despite delivery delays.

Delays in vaccine shipments because of winter storms and power outages across the nation will have little to no effect on this weekend’s vaccination clinics, health officers said.

The state Department of Health estimated that more than 90 percent of vaccine shipments across the state will arrive late this week due to the weather elsewhere, the state said in a press release.

The delay did not effect shipment of Pfizer’s vaccine that Jefferson Healthcare received earlier this week, but is affecting a shipment that Clallam County is waiting on for this weekend’s vaccination clinics, said Dr. Allison Berry, Clallam County health officer.

Although it is unknown if that shipment will arrive in time, Berry said the various clinics in Port Angeles, Sequim and Forks have enough stock to honor most of the appointments made, but it is possible that up to 100 out of the nearly 3,000 appointments may have to be rescheduled for next week.

Those people will receive their shots, Berry said.

“It looks like it’s going to be quite tight,” she said. “We have about 3,500 outstanding doses that are potentially in transit depending on where they are related to the snow storm.

“We are cautiously optimistic that they will arrive in time for the vaccination clinics, but even if they don’t, we should be able to vaccinate the vast majority of people who need their second dose this weekend.”

The Port Angeles and Sequim vaccination clinics are for the second-dose booster shots, and if people have their shots delayed by a week or two, it won’t affect the overall effectiveness of the vaccines, Berry said.

Both Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two doses taken at least three and four weeks apart, respectively.

Jefferson Healthcare has been administering first doses of Pfizer’s vaccine this week to residents who are on its “When is it my turn?” list, working backwards from the oldest registrants to youngest, the hospital’s website said.

Jefferson residents or Jefferson Healthcare patients older than 65 can sign up for the list at https://jefferson healthcare.org/covid-19- vaccine.

Clallam County has vaccinated at least 18,261 people with the first dose of vaccine, while Jefferson Healthcare has vaccinated 3,787 with the first dose and 3,243 people with the second dose, according to Clallam County’s and Jefferson Healthcare’s respective websites.

Clallam County’s test positivity — the percentage of tests returned positive — was 2.3 percent from Feb. 1 to Feb. 15, according to Clallam County Public Health data.

Jefferson County’s test positivity was 1.62 percent for Feb. 8-14.

So far this month, Clallam County has confirmed 46 cases of COVID-19, about 4.68 percent of the 982 cases confirmed since last March, according to Clallam County data.

Jefferson County has confirmed 26 cases of COVID-19, about 7.88 percent of the 330 it has confirmed since last March, according to Jefferson County Public Health data.

Eighteen COVID-19 cases were active as of Tuesday in Clallam County. Jefferson County had six active cases.

Both counties are in the state’s moderate-risk category with a case rate of 59 per 100,000 population during the past two weeks as of Thursday in Clallam County and 65.83 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Saturday in Jefferson County.

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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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