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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: May 4, 2021

Whatcom County COVID-19 Vaccine Update for 5/4/21

Vaccine Data

This past week we reached an exciting milestone: over 100,000 people have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Whatcom County! 

As of May 3, 44.78% of Whatcom County residents have gotten their first dose, and nearly a third (32.51%) are fully vaccinated! This week, Whatcom County providers are due to receive 3,940 first doses and 3,040 second doses.

We’ve updated the infographic with two new gauges to help you measure the level of community protection from COVID-19 we have in Whatcom County. 

  • The first gauge shows the percentage of Whatcom county’s eligible population (currently everyone 16 or older) that’s received at least one dose. This helps you see how well our county is doing at getting shots in arms. The higher this percentage, the better we’re performing. 
  • The second gauge shows the percentage of Whatcom county’s entire population that’s fully vaccinated. This gives you some idea how much community immunity exists in Whatcom County. The higher this percentage, the better protected we are against the virus that causes COVID-19. 

We’ll update these graphics each week and include them in these weekly updates going forward. 

May 4 Whatcom County Vax Progress Infographic

Community Vaccination Center Update

The Community Vaccination Center will continue hosting clinics this week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Both weekday clinics will be held from 4-8 p.m., while the Saturday clinic will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Registration is ongoing and many appointments are available for each clinic. To make an appointment, search for the Community Vaccination Center at PrepMod.doh.wa.gov, or click one of the links below to be taken directly to the registration page.

Tuesday, May 4

Thursday, May 6

Saturday morning, May 8

Saturday afternoon, May 8

The Pfizer vaccine will not be offered, so 16-17 year-olds can’t sign up for these clinics, but anyone who’s 18 or older is encouraged to make an appointment! For scheduling instructions and directions, go to VaccinateWhatcom.org. If you need language assistance or are having a hard time scheduling online, call 360-778-6075 for assistance. 

 

The Vaccine is Working

The COVID-19 vaccines currently in use do what they’re supposed to do: protect you from COVID-19. The CDC recently reported that fully vaccinated adults 65 and older are 94% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people of the same age who are not vaccinated. 

This is good news, especially if you’re over 65, but every other age group has some catching up to do, especially young adults. Only 22.2% of 18-34 year-olds are fully vaccinated.

If you’re younger than 65, or older than 65 and haven’t yet been vaccinated, make an appointment today. It’s never been easier to get an appointment. 

 

Tips for Finding a Vaccine

Some good news! Supply has finally caught up with demand here in Whatcom, and COVID-19 vaccine appointments are plentiful and easy to come by. 

There’s lots of places to get a COVID-19 vaccine now. For a short list, refer to our infographic below.

Tips for Getting an Appointment in Whatcom County flyer

For a (near) complete list of local vaccine providers, go to VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov.

 

Weekly Vaccine MythBusted: The COVID-19 vaccine will make you test positive for the virus.

You may have heard that getting the COVID-19 vaccine will earn you a positive test result from a viral COVID-19 test. But this isn’t true.

Viral tests like the diagnostic tests given at COVID-19 testing sites can determine if you’re currently infected at the time the test is given.These tests look for the COVID-19 virus genome, which is found in the live COVID-19 virus. Since none of the vaccines currently in use contain the live COVID-19 virus, you won’t test positive for COVID-19 after vaccination unless you already had COVID-19 when you went to get vaccinated, which you should not doIf you have COVID-19, isolate yourself from others and wait to get vaccinated until you’re fully recovered and you’ve finished your period of isolation

Antibody tests aren’t used to determine current infection, only the presence of antibodies, which will show up in your body after you’ve been vaccinated or after you’ve been sick with COVID-19. Antibodies are how the body wards off an infection and are key to lasting immunity. No COVID-19 vaccines currently in use cause infection, but they do spur your body to create COVID-19 antibodies. That’s a good thing! Because of this, some antibody tests may come back positive after you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19. 

Refer to the CDC for more information about the difference between viral and antibody tests, and for more information about COVID-19 myths and facts.

 

More Information

More information about the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine planning, and vaccine safety can be found on the DOH’s COVID-19 vaccine web page at www.covidvaccinewa.org. For information about COVID-19 vaccination in Whatcom County, visit our webpage at www.whatcomcounty.us/covidvaccine

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