News Flash

Health - Public Health News

Posted on: June 15, 2021

Whatcom County COVID-19 Vaccine Update for 6/15/21

Vaccine Data

We are almost there, Whatcom. We’ve crossed an important threshold. As of June 14, just over half (50.7%) of Whatcom County residents are fully vaccinated! 

We’re doing our part to help the state hit the target for early reopening, with 67.7% of everyone 16 and older initiating vaccination in Whatcom County.

Whatcom County Vax Progress Infographic week of June 13

Whatcom County Approaches Governor’s Early Reopening Benchmark

We’re doing our part to help reach the Governor’s 70% statewide vaccination initiation threshold for early reopening. Great job, Whatcom! Although this doesn’t mean we can reopen sooner (we have to wait for the rest of the state to catch up), it does mean our county is heading in the right direction. Currently, Whatcom County is ranked 4th in the state in both vaccine initiation and completion for everyone 16 and older! 

We’ve gotten closer to 70% this week thanks in part to the Nooksack Indian Tribe who, along with Lummi Nation last week, submitted their data to DOH to be uploaded into WAIIS. Tribal governments receive vaccine shipments directly from the federal government and upload their data in a federal registry. They don’t have to upload it to the state’s registry like other vaccine providers do, but the Nooksack Indian Tribe and Lummi Nation chose to do so. 

Since the beginning of this pandemic, both the Nooksack Indian Tribe and Lummi Nation have been a huge help getting our community vaccinated. They shared their resources early on, at a time when supplies were scarce, and now they’re sharing their data too, when we need it most to move forward.

 

College Days at the CVC

Join us this Wednesday and Thursday for two days of immunity and community at the CVC! Students from Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University can earn some fun swag along with immunity to COVID-19. 

The event is intended for college students, but anyone in the community is welcome to come. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of local history. Walk-ins are welcome, but if you like you can reserve a spot via one of the links below. Both clinics will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to people needing their first dose, and Moderna will be available for those needing their second Moderna shot.

These will be the last clinics to run at the CVC. The CVC will suspend operations on June 17 as local vaccination providers adjust their strategy to focus on smaller mobile and pop-up clinics. Many thanks to our partners who helped make the CVC possible: Bellingham Technical College, Unity Care NW, Whatcom Unified Command, Family Care Network, PeaceHealth, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Hoagland Pharmacy, and Whatcom Community College. 

 

Pop-up Vaccination Clinics and Other Walk-In Options

There are a number of pop-up vaccination clinics around the county this week. All of these clinics welcome walk-ins, and the vaccine is still 100% free of charge. If you’re already vaccinated, share this list with someone who isn’t! 

  • Tuesday, June 15 - Custom Design Inc. (CDI), 1-3 p.m. Moderna clinic, 2123 Grant St, Bellingham. 
  • Thursday, June 17 -  Pints for Pokes, 6-8 p.m. North Fork Brewery, Moderna clinic, 6186 Mt Baker Hwy, Deming.
  • Friday, June 18  
    • Old Lynden Middle School Gym, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson clinic, 516 Main St., Friday, June 18, 3-6 p.m. Includes COVID-19 testing!
    • Everson Elementary school, 6-8pm, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson clinic, 216 Everson Goshen Rd.
  • Saturday, June 19 - Park & Poke COVID Vaccine Drive-up, Pfizer clinic, 1-3 p.m. at the WECU parking lot by WinCo, 3970 Meridian St, Bellingham.  

There are lots of other local vaccine providers that currently offer COVID-19 vaccination without an appointment. Those providers include: 

  • Costco
  • Haggen on 12th Street (if scheduled vaccine appointments are not full)
  • Haggen in Ferndale (if extra doses are available)
  • Haggen on Meridian
  • Haggen on Woburn 
  • PeaceHealth Community Vaccination Center 
  • Safeway in Bellingham (if extra doses are available)
  • Walgreens (call first to check availability)

Go to VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov for a complete list of local vaccine providers. You can also text your zip code to GET-VAX (438-829) or VACUNA (822-862) to find a provider near you. 

 

Weekly Vaccine MythBusted: The COVID-19 vaccine has a high death rate, and COVID-19 itself has a high survivability rate, so I shouldn’t get vaccinated for something that’s not likely to kill me. 

Neither of the above premises, that the COVID-19 vaccine mortality rate is high and the COVID-19 virus fatality is low, are true.

Between December 14, 2020 and June 7, 2021, 302 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the United States. Of those doses, VAERS reported 5,208 deaths, which would account for just 0.0017% of all vaccines given, about one thousandth of one percent

The actual fatality rate is likely much lower. VAERS accepts all reports of adverse medical outcomes that occur after vaccination, whether or not those outcomes are proven to be directly associated with vaccination. Since reports are voluntary, many VAERS reports may include incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental and unverifiable information.  

In contrast, the current fatality rate for COVID-19 stands at roughly 1.8%. If we assumed every VAERS death report were true and directly related to vaccination, you’d still be more than a thousand times more likely to die from the virus than the vaccine. 

A mortality rate of 1.8% might seem low, but a 1% mortality rate is still 10 times deadlier than the seasonal flu. According to the CDC’s provisional mortality data for 2020, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States last year, beaten only by cancer and heart disease. 

Neither cancer nor heart disease are contagious, but COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus. Now that we have a vaccine for the virus, COVID-19 is also highly preventable. It’s now the single deadliest preventable infectious disease in the country. 

If you’re looking for credible information from trusted medical experts, check out:

 

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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