County adds new case to reach 159 total; vaccination rate slowing
July 15, 2021
After a nearly two week pause, Wahkiakum Health and Human Services (WHHS) reported a new case of covid-19 in Wahkiakum County on Monday, bringing the cumulative total to 159, with two cases considered potentially active.
The individual is in self-quarantine, and there is currently no known connection with either Wahkiakum School District or St. James Family Center.
WHHS is working to identify anyone who may have an exposure risk because of contact with the individual. Anyone determined to have had close contact will be contacted by WHHS staff.
According to the Washington Department of Health website, 3,496 doses of vaccine have been given in Wahkiakum County.
WHHS Director Chris Bischoff said on Tuesday that 45 percent of the county’s total population has received one dose of the vaccine, while 43 percent are fully vaccinated.
Including anyone 16 and up, 52 percent have received their first dose, while 49 percent are fully vaccinated. Including anyone 12 and up, 50 percent have received their first dose and 47 percent are fully vaccinated.
According to data, 22.7 percent of kids between the ages of 12-17 have initiated vaccination, while 18.9 percent are now fully vaccinated. Among county residents between the ages of 18 and 34, 33.3 percent have initiated vaccine, while 29.6 percent are fully vaccinated. In the 35 to 49 population, 47.5 percent have received the first dose, while 43.2 percent are fully vaccinated. In the 50-64 age group, with 48.2 percent receiving the first dose, and 45.1 percent considered fully vaccinated. Of those 65 and over, 62 percent have initiated the first dose, and 60 percent are fully vaccinated.
Vaccination “hasn’t stopped, but it has been pretty consistently low,” Bischoff said. “At our Monday-Wednesday clinics we are pretty consistently seeing between 6-12 people, a mix of first and second doses.”
WHHS is still administering the Pfizer vaccine on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
If someone would prefer another vaccine, Bischoff said they will need to go elsewhere.
“Vaccines are freely available now at a bunch of different places,” Bischoff said, suggesting Rite Aid, Walgreens, Safeway, Kaiser, and PeaceHealth.
“We are still a long way from where we need to be for protecting ourselves as a community,” Bischoff said. If people have questions that are keeping them from getting vaccinated please seek out good information. Some great sources are their primary doctor, the CDC, the health department, the Washington State Department of Health.”
“As much as I would like for the pandemic to be over, it is not,” he added. “Please get vaccinated so that we can end this.”
Variants are here
"The United States is starting to see a surge in cases,” Bischoff said. “This includes some areas of Washington State. In other areas of the country, this surge is largely due to the Delta variant. There are other variants of concern that are popping up as well. The sooner we can get a large portion of the population vaccinated the sooner we can stop these variants. There is no variant currently, that renders the vaccines completely ineffective, but there are a couple now that can reduce the effectiveness of these vaccines.
Bald Eagle Days vaccinations
The Washington Department of Health will have their Care-A-Van parked behind the county courthouse providing vaccines during Bald Eagle Days. No appointment is necessary, people will be able to choose between Pfizer and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Vaccines are available for anyone 12 and older, though anyone under 18 will need parent or guardian permission. Youth between 12-18 will have to have Pfizer, 18 and over can choose.