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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: December 17, 2021

Whatcom County Health Department Looks Back on a Year of COVID-19 Vaccination

The first doses of COVID-19 vaccine were given in Whatcom County on December 18, 2020. Those 23 doses marked the beginning of a tremendous community effort by hundreds of health care workers, public health professionals, and volunteers to vaccinate Whatcom residents against a virus that has filled hospitals, closed businesses and schools, and killed over 800,000 Americans to date. 

While our community’s work has led to three out of four eligible Whatcom residents getting at least one dose of the vaccine, the Whatcom County Health Department knows that there are still many people who want the vaccine but have been unable to get it due to language, transportation, or cultural barriers. Together with our many partners, we’ll continue working diligently to get the vaccine to our neighbors in underserved communities.

Vaccination in Whatcom County (as of Dec. 14, 2021)

Number of vaccinations given (includes first doses, second doses, and additional doses)


Eligible Whatcom residents who have gotten at least one dose

161,352 out of 216,598 (74.4%)

70.8% of the total population

Eligible Whatcom residents who are fully vaccinated

147,003 out of 216,598 (67.8%)

64.5% of the total population

The Health Department has been tracking the demographics of the people getting vaccinated since the beginning of the vaccine rollout. In March 2021, the Health Department and our community partners began targeted outreach and pop-up clinics for groups with vaccination rates lower than the county average, including people of Hispanic descent and people living in rural parts of the county. To date, more than 3,500 doses have been given at 120 pop-up clinics.

The vaccines have provided an extremely effective layer of protection against severe illness caused by COVID-19. They have reduced the risks of COVID-19 to the level where students are back in classrooms, the majority of businesses are able to operate without capacity restrictions, and we can gather safely with our vaccinated loved ones. As we face the uncertainty of the new Omicron variant, the vaccines still have a key role to play: whether it’s your first dose or your booster shot, please get vaccinated.

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