Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Jana Hill
Mill Creek Beacon Editor 

COVID-19 mass vaccinations resume

Everett and Edmonds sites re-open after snowstorm

 

Last updated 2/18/2021 at 7:59am

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

The one-millionth person vaccinated in Washington state got the shot on the same day mass-vaccination sites pivoted for forward-movement in the effort to end the pandemic.

The Valentine's Day weekend snowstorm shuttered mass vaccination sites in Snohomish County, slowing progress toward the end-goal, but two are re-opened and on regular schedules, said Kari Bray, communications director for the Snohomish County Health District on Feb. 17.

The Edmonds and Everett sites are offering second doses only, Bray said, a practice also taken on by three mass vaccination sites outside of Snohomish County. Sites in Ridgefield, Wenatchee and Kennewick are limiting to second-dose appointments next week. The end-goal is full vaccination for those who have already had shot-one.

Maximum benefit from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires a shot three weeks or 21 days after receiving a first dose. Moderna, 28 days. Until both doses are received, a patient is not yet fully vaccinated.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines become less effective if their shelf-time extends too long, so once vials are delivered, so the coordination-effort includes an expiration deadline as well.

In Snohomish County, mass vaccination sites in Monroe and Arlington remained closed as they awaited arrival of more doses. Those who had shot-one in Monroe can expect an email when a new shipment arrives, Bray said. She did not have a timeline for when that would occur.

Patients receive a vaccination card at their first-dose appointment, Bray said. Information on that card includes the brand of vaccine they received and the target-date for their second dose.

"Patients should save their card, and it's a good idea to take a photo on their phone in case the card is lost or damaged. That way they can bring it with them to their second dose appointment," Bray said.

For those who did not take a picture and lost their card, their immunization record can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3qwGcFo.

Challenges to the wider vaccination-effort so far include communication problems that impact delivery, and weather that prevented travel of both staff and patients. The coordination of two shots and adequate staffing to administer the shots are two more hurdles that are addressed when they arise. The state loosened restrictions recently, allowing medical professionals with lapsed licenses to administer shots. In some locations, the National Guard and private sector partners assisted, the DOH said.

What you need to know

Steps to getting a vaccine include the following:

• Confirm you are in the eligible phase:

The current phase for access to a COVID-19 vaccine is Phase 1A or 1B-1. Phases at a glance are here: https://bit.ly/3do15zc.

Use the Phase Finder tool to determine if you are eligible: https://bit.ly/37nvJoo.

• Schedule with a mass vaccination site, a pharmacy, or a health care provider.

Snohomish County Health District lists vaccination site information here: https://www.snohd.org/564/COVID-Vaccine-Info.

Appointments for mass vaccination sites in Snohomish County open weekly:

• Edmonds and Everett sites post over the weekend or early in the week on Monday or Tuesday when supplies are available.

When arriving for a second dose, bring the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, given when the first dose. This card displays your first dose date and vaccine type.

Information on hours and scheduling is here: http://bit.ly/snocovaccine.

It shows the "Register" heading, with the registration links as well as a map with the locations of the sites and "When are the mass vaccination sites open?" below.

"Please keep in mind that exact days, operating hours, and when appointments are posted will still vary based on vaccine availability," Bray said. The site is frequently updated.

• Officials remind the public that even after being vaccinated, all previous precautions should continue.

"People should continue to wear a mask in shared spaces, avoid large gatherings, stay home if they feel ill, wash their hands, and clean and sanitize surfaces," Bray said. “It is important to keep up with preventive measures while work continues to vaccinate more people."

 

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