Vaccine choice planned for Clallam County pop-up clinics

Peninsula schools possible new locations

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be offered at upcoming Clallam County pop-up vaccination clinics, providing a choice between the one-and-done version and the two-dose Moderna vaccine.

Jefferson County has a small stock of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine and county health workers are developing plans to make it available for people who want it, said Dr. Tom Locke, Jefferson County health officer.

On Monday, Clallam County confirmed four new COVID-19 cases for a total of 140 so far this month, about 11.62 percent of the 1,205 cases during the past year, according to county data.

Jefferson County reported one new case on Tuesday. It has confirmed 37 cases so far in April, about 9.66 percent of the 383 cases in the past year, according to county Public Health data.

Clallam County has upcoming pop-up first-come, first-served vaccination clinics scheduled for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 8 and May 10 that will offer both the two-dose Moderna and one-dose J&J vaccines for people 18 and older to choose from, said Dr. Allison Berry, Clallam County health officer.

Friday’s and Sunday’s clinics will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Port Angeles at the former site of the Winter Village skating rink at 121 W. Front St.

Saturday’s clinic will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the Sequim Farmers Market.

The county also is working with Barhop at 124 W. Railroad Ave. in Port Angeles for two “a Shot and a Beer” pop-up clinics. 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.

The clinics are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 8 and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. May 10.

All Washington residents 16 and older can get vaccinated for COVID-19. Pfizer’s vaccine is the only one approved for 16 and older, but all three are free for the recipient.

J&J vaccine was recently unpaused after it was put on hold due to rare incidents of blood clots in young women.

Berry recommended that young women who are concerned about the possibility of blood clots due to the J&J vaccine should consider getting either Moderna’s or Pfizer’s vaccine. However, she strongly encouraged pregnant women to avoid J&J’s vaccine since pregnancy makes women more predisposed to blood clots, she said.

As of Monday, about 62 percent of Jefferson County adults had begun vaccinations, and about 50 percent were fully vaccinated, Locke said during his Monday briefing with the county commissioners.

As of Saturday, about 56 percent of Clallam County adults had begun vaccinations, with about 46 percent fully vaccinated, said Berry on Tuesday.

Both counties are working with the local school districts to put on pop-up Pfizer clinics for eligible students to be vaccinated with parental permission.

Both health officers continue to urge residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible, especially with case rates continuing to climb statewide.

“I think we are really starting seeing the benefits of the amount of our population that is vaccinated,” Berry said. “While we still have experienced a fourth wave, it’s being blunted by the amount of people in our community being vaccinated.

“The primary risk we’re seeing though is there is still quite a few of us aren’t vaccinated and so we certainly can see significant transmission and outbreaks in that community.”

Locke agreed.

“We have the tools to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19, but we still haven’t fully deployed it,” Locke said. “We’re finally at the stage where the vaccine is readily available, but in Jefferson County we have thousands of people yet that we have to convince this is the right thing to do, for their own personal health and for the safety of their family and for the public health.”

Upcoming vaccination clinics can be found at https://www.peninsuladaily news.com/news/vaccination- clinics-set-this-week.

Twenty-six COVID-19 cases were active as of Tuesday in Clallam County, with three patients currently hospitalized, two of whom are in the Intensive Care Unit. Jefferson County had 10 active cases.

Clallam County is in the state’s high-risk category, having a case rate of 93 per 100,000 population for the past two weeks as of Monday, while Jefferson County in the moderate-risk category with a case rate of 65.83 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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