Olympic Medical Center providing shots, staff at vaccination clinics

Olympic Medical Center will provide staffing and a supply of the Pfizer vaccine at the Port Angeles vaccination clinic on two weekends each month in February and March, according to OMC chief executive officer Darryl Wolfe.

OMC is planning to administer about 1,000 doses per day at the Port Angeles vaccination clinics. OMC also is providing additional staffing to support the Jamestown Family Health vaccination clinic in Sequim, which resumed Feb. 2.

“As we approach completing vaccinations for more than 1,100 healthcare workers at OMC, we are now able to plan to provide the expertise of our staff — and to continue to contribute our vaccine supply — to the communities of Port Angeles and Sequim,” Wolfe said in a press release.

“There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and it’s delivering the vaccine to the residents of Clallam County. We are pleased to continue to support this effort.”

OMC will wrap up this week the inoculation of Tier 1A healthcare workers with first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Thanks to a proactive recommendation by the director of pharmacy earlier this fall, OMC purchased an ultra-low temperature freezer, which ultimately was necessary to safely and effectively store the Pfizer vaccine for community, the release said.

The only other such freezer is owned by Olympic National Park, it said.

Wolfe said that, due to having the appropriate storage in place and additional capabilities, OMC received an early allotment of the Pfizer vaccine and began vaccinating its healthcare workers with the Pfizer vaccine Dec. 18 following the phased guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination prescribed by the state Department of Health.

By early February, OMC will have administered both doses of the vaccine to more than 1,100 healthcare workers, Wolfe said.

At the same time, OMC has been sharing doses out of its Moderna allotment with community vaccination clinics in Clallam County.

PA, Sequim clinics

Both Port Angeles and Sequim clinics are full for this week.

Clallam County Health and Human Services is managing the registration for the clinics in Port Angeles and Sequim, and eligible residents who are interested in receiving the vaccine must register in advance via vaccine.clallam.net/register.

Current eligibility, as outlined by the state Department of Health, can be found at olympicmedical.org/covid-19-vaccine-information.

The hospital will hire more staff, in addition to those already on board, to help with the Port Angeles and Sequim clinics, said Jennifer Burkhardt, chief human resources officer.

In Port Angeles, OMC will administer the Pfizer vaccine and North Olympic Healthcare Network will provide the Moderna vaccine during their respective clinics, which will occur on different weeks.

OMC’s days are: Feb. 6-7, Feb. 27-28, March 6-7 and March 27-28.

North Olympic Healthcare Network will provide staffing and vaccine supply at the Port Angeles vaccination clinic on the remaining two weekends in February and March.

Moderna vaccine also is being administered at the Jamestown clinics in Sequim.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are not interchangeable, so when individuals return for their second dose, they must use the same vaccine they received on their initial dose.

As recommended by Clallam County HHS, all individuals receiving vaccines are advised to retain their vaccination cards and present them when it is time for the second dose to be administered.

“It is important for community members to return and obtain the second dose of their respective vaccine,” said Dr. Scott Kennedy, OMC chief medical officer.

“The vaccines are highly effective. We expect individuals will develop immunity, significant protection against COVID-19 infection, within a few weeks after completing the two-dose vaccination series.”

Still, he advised those who have been vaccinated to continue wearing face masks, practice social distancing and wash hands frequently.

For more information on OMC and vaccine response, go to olympicmedical.org/covid-19-vaccine-information.

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