Members of the Community Emergency Response Team organize material at the registration checkpoint of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Jan. 14. Beginning Feb. 2 and set for that date, Feb. 4 and Feb. 6, the clinic will be by appointment only at vaccine.clallam.net/register. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

Members of the Community Emergency Response Team organize material at the registration checkpoint of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Jan. 14. Beginning Feb. 2 and set for that date, Feb. 4 and Feb. 6, the clinic will be by appointment only at vaccine.clallam.net/register. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim vaccinations for early February dates fill up in 30 minutes

Online registration seems to be a popular option for those seeking vaccinations.

The online registration for first dose vaccines being offered by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe on Feb. 2, Feb. 4 and Feb. 6 were filled in the first 30 minutes the portal was open — between 9-9:30 a.m. — this morning, according to Betty Oppenheimer, communications specialist for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

The system saw 2,172 people register to be vaccinated, she said.

Brent Simcosky, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s health services director, said locals sign up for one of five, one-hour time spots.

“The whole purpose of online registration is so people wouldn’t be staying up and in their cars over night,” he said.

In previous weeks, the tribe opened up vaccinations in Carrie Blake Community Park on a first-come, first-served priority, so residents began lining up over night.

“With our setup, we’ll be able to hold 200 cars, so there won’t be any cars spilling over (onto Blake Avenue),” Simcosky said.

He said tribal and Clallam County IT staff were working on logistics until Wednesday night.

Drive-through

Those 65 or older are eligible to register for now with a spouse or domestic partner of any age.

For future vaccines, residents can go to vaccine.clallam.net/register or call 360-681-3447 where, if not full already, volunteers at the call center will use the online system to make appointments.

More information can be found at https://jamestownhealth.org/.

Tribal officials direct residents to ask their primary care provider about the vaccine.

On the day of vaccination, residents should bring out a printed registration ticket to Trinity United Methodist Church. If a resident doesn’t have a printer, people at check-in can look you up, they report.

Jamestown staff will generate a ticket for vaccinations that includes the date to return in four weeks — to the same location — for the second vaccine dose.

Traffic signals and barriers will direct vehicles to the two-lane vaccination tent, located adjacent to the James Center band shell in Carrie Blake Community Park.

Clinic users who have received vaccinations will be directed to a parking area to wait for 15 minutes post-vaccination, with personnel available to answer questions or address health concerns.

Those with questions about the vaccine are directed to call the Centers for Disease Control at 800-CDC-INFO (232-4636); do not call the clinic or the call center with questions.

More logistics

Simcosky and tribal staff thank Clallam County IT for setting up the website. He said there were reports of people contacting the call center prior to opening and that if registration is full, there will be a message saying so.

Tribal staff are looking at adding one more day for first-dose vaccinations the week of Feb. 1, but Simcosky said they are still working on it.

Future dates will be announced based on vaccine availability.

With scheduling second doses of the vaccine around the first, Simcosky said it’s going to be a challenge.

“We can do dose ones on the same week as dose two’s,” he said.

By Feb 6, Simcosky estimates the tribe will have vaccinated more than 9,000 people with the first dose in the Sequim area.

“We’re trying to bring hope back to the community, that’s why we’re doing (vaccinations) so fast,” Simcosky said.

“This (65-and-up) age group has already decided that COVID is the worse risk than the vaccine.”

Of the thousands of vaccines administered, medical officials report three have had mild reactions during the 15 minute waiting period, such as a rash or hives.

“That’s why we have medical officials there to help,” Simcosky said. “They were all able to leave within 30 minutes and it was all considered very mild.”

Simcosky said they don’t anticipate any issues receiving second doses of the vaccine and that “nobody needs to worry about getting second dose.”

“What we’d like to hear from the state is that they’re going to guarantee us a four-week supply, so we can have sign-ups for two weeks,” he said.

“We make orders but we’re not sure what we’re getting until later in the week.”

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