Peninsula COVID vaccinations rise

More than 70 percent of North Olympic Peninsula residents 12 and older had begun vaccinations as of Wednesday, the region’s public health official said, marking a recent uptick in vaccinations.

Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for Jefferson and Clallam counties, also noted a 5 percent increase in the last few weeks in residents 12 to 17 being fully vaccinated.

The percent in Clallam County in that age group has increased from 30 percent to 35 percent. In Jefferson County, the percentage has increased from 40 percent to 45 percent fully vaccinated.

“We are happy to see an increase in vaccination,” Berry said. “I think it’s a move in the right direction.”

“I hope it continues, because it will make a huge difference in protecting our health care systems, protecting the most vulnerable in our community, keeping schools open and allowing us to return to more normal functioning,” Berry said.

The delta variant is highly contagious, so Berry estimates at least 80 percent of residents in a community must be fully vaccinated to slow the spread through herd immunity.

She reminded those using either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines that they must have the full two-dose regimen to be fully vaccinated.

“You really need to complete your vaccine series,” Berry said. “It will provide much more protection.”

Berry continues to urge all residents 12 and older to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

The latest data compiled by the state Department of Health states that 78.5 percent of the population 12 and older in Jefferson County have started vaccinations, with 74.6 percent of them fully vaccinated. Of the entire population, 72.2 percent have begun vaccination, and 68.6 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.

In Clallam County, 70.8 percent of the population 12 and older have started vaccinations, with 65 percent of them fully vaccinated. Of the total population, 62.9 percent have begun vaccinations, with 57.8 percent fully vaccinated, according to the state’s dashboard.

Jefferson County has the third-highest rate of vaccinations for people 12 and older in the state, behind San Juan and King counties.

Clallam County has the eighth-highest rate in the state.

Since the beginning of February in Clallam County, 14.5 percent of new reported cases have been among fully vaccinated residents, meaning 85.5 percent of reported cases have been among unvaccinated residents, according to county data.

During the same time period in Jefferson County, 23.33 percent of new reported cases have been among fully vaccinated residents, meaning 76.67 percent of reported cases have been among unvaccinated residents, according to county data.

Care-a-Van

COVID-19 vaccinations provided by the state Department of Health’s Care-a-Van will be available on Sunday in Port Townsend, Jefferson County Public Health said in a Facebook post.

The Care-a-Van is a mobile vaccination unit organized by the state to reach under-served communities.

Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available. Clinics are walk-up, with no appointment needed.

The team will be in two places on Sunday, at the American Legion Post 26 at 209 Monroe St. from 9-11 a.m. and from 1-4 p.m. at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds at 4907 Landes St.

Berry said she is working with her team members to plan mass vaccination clinics once booster doses are approved for Pfizer’s vaccine and once the vaccine is approved for children 5-11 years old.

Berry estimated the booster dose decision will likely be made in the first week of October. She expects the decision regarding vaccination for younger children in late October or early November.

On Wednesday, Clallam County added 18 new cases of COVID-19, raising its total number to 3,977 since the pandemic began, according to county health data.

Jefferson County added eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, raising its total number to 949 since the pandemic began, according to county health data.

Clallam County has reported 44 deaths due to COVID-19 while Jefferson County has reported six deaths, making the total on the Peninsula 57 since the pandemic began.

Clallam County’s case rate continued to decrease, with the county reporting 1,021 cases per 100,000 population for the past two weeks as of Wednesday. The case rate on Friday was 1,232 per 100,000, according to county health data.

Jefferson County, which records its case rate weekly, on Monday reported 379.31 cases per 100,000 for the past two weeks as of Saturday, which is a significant decrease from last week, when the case rate was more than 500 per 100,000.

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