While health officials shift to pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics, they continue to urge residents to sign up for available vaccine appointments.
“There are open vaccination slots this week. People should really take advantage of it,” said Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer.
All Washington residents 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated.
Vaccinations for COVID-19 are free to the recipient, and a second dose appointment is made when the person receives their first shot.
Pfizer’s is the only vaccine approved right now for people 16 and older.
The Moderna and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for those 18 and older, but Johnson & Johnson remains on a temporary pause as investigators examine a potential link between very rare incidents of blood clots.
On Wednesday, Clallam County confirmed eight new cases for a total of 120 COVID-19 cases so far this month, about 10.13 percent of the 1,185 cases during the past year, according to county data.
Jefferson County reported no new cases on Wednesday. It has confirmed 32 cases so far in April, about 8.47 percent of the 378 cases in the past year, according to county Public Health data.
Clallam County has several first-dose pop-up vaccination clinics coming up, and for all first-dose clinics, a second dose one is scheduled a month later at the same location, said Dr. Allison Berry, Clallam County health officer.
One pop-up is Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at First Step Family Support Center, 323 E. Sixth St. in Port Angeles, which is hoping to reach busy parents. The clinic will offer Moderna vaccine for those 18 and older, Berry said.
Clallam County Emergency Management has partnered with the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce to put on three pop-up clinics in downtown Port Angeles at the site of the former ice skating rink, 121 W. Front St., said Leslie Robertson, chamber events manager.
The clinics will provide Moderna vaccine for people 18 and older and are scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. this coming Sunday, Friday, April 30, and Sunday, May 2, Robertson said.
The workers hope to move people quickly through the pop-up clinics downtown, and Robertson plans to drop off the required paperwork with local restaurants so their workers can fill out the forms in advance of arriving, she said.
The county also is working with the Barhop, 124 W. Railroad Ave. in Port Angeles, for two “a Shot and a Beer” pop-up clinics using Moderna vaccine. The clinics will be open to those 18 and older, but only those 21 and older who receive the shots will also be able to each get a free beer, Berry said.
The clinics are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 8 and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 10, Berry said.
The upcoming clinics in Port Angeles are targeted to allow busy restaurant workers to be vaccinated quickly between jobs or on break or after work, but no eligible person will be turned away, she said.
“Anyone can come,” she said. “We’re happy to take care of any citizen if you’re there, whether you’re a downtown worker of any kind or you’re just there visiting one of our downtown establishments.
“It would be equally helpful to get you vaccinated.”
Berry is communicating with chambers of commerce officials in Sequim and the West End for future potential pop-up clinics, but no specific plans had been made as of Wednesday, she said.
Clallam County also is planning to have Pfizer clinics soon at the various high schools for students 16 and older, and that’s something Jefferson County is eyeing as well, Locke and Berry said.
Jefferson County Emergency Management is planning a pop-up clinic in Brinnon sometime in the next few weeks and possibly one in Port Hadlock, Locke said.
Outside of the pop-ups, local pharmacies and health care providers also have vaccination appointments.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to access the vaccine; that’s our goal,” Locke said.
Of the people who are unvaccinated or not scheduled for vaccination, there are two main groups: those who will not choose to be vaccinated for a variety of reasons, and others who haven’t been able to due to inconveniences of time, transportation or other factors, Locke said.
The inconvenience “group we can serve,” he said. “We can figure out how to make it more convenient and how to make it more accessible geographically.
“We can’t necessarily solve the problem of people who don’t believe in vaccination. But we fear those who don’t get vaccinated are going to be immunized the hard way, and that is they’re going to get these more contagious strains of coronavirus and have to go through a period of illness and be at risk of complications.”
The Port Angeles High School clinic Saturday is full, but appointments for the Sunday Pfizer clinic are still available at http://vaccine.clallam.net/register or by phone at 360-417-2430. The county will continue to operate the clinic for people due for their scheduled second-dose appointments, Berry said.
Jefferson County Public Health’s Moderna vaccination clinic this Saturday at the Chimacum School District Multi-Purpose Room has appointments available at bit.ly/jeffcovax or by calling 360-344-9791. The county will operate the clinic for scheduled second doses in May, Locke said.
The state has created a vaccination locator at https://vaccine locator.doh.wa.gov.
Appointments for Jefferson Healthcare’s clinics can be made at https://jeffersonhealthcare.org/covid-19-vaccine.
Forks Community Hospital has a Moderna vaccination clinic scheduled for April 30. More information can be found at www.ForksHospital.org.
Thirty-seven COVID-19 cases were active as of Wednesday in Clallam County, with two elderly patients in the Intensive Care Unit due to the disease, Berry said.
Jefferson County had 14 active cases.
Both counties are in the state’s high-risk category with Clallam County having a case rate of 113 per 100,000 population for the past two weeks as of Wednesday, while Jefferson County has case rate of 75.24 per 100,000 for the two weeks prior as of Saturday.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]