New covid cases, another death announced; third doses availbable Aug. 18


August 12, 2021

Wahkiakum County Health and Human Services (WHHS) received positive test result notifications for four additional covid-19 cases in Wahkiakum County residents and also an additional covid related fatality, department Director Chris Bischoff announced this morning (Tuesday).

This brings Wahkiakum to a cumulative total of 177 cases, with 11 of those potentially active, and five fatalities.

Out of respect for their family, and due to the size of the county, WHHS will not release any demographics on the deceased other than that this one was in the 65+ age group and male.

Department staff are working to identify anyone who may have an exposure risk because of contact with the individuals. Those people with close contact will be notified by Health and Human Services (WHHS) staff.

Vaccines are freely available to anyone 12 or older in county. Getting vaccinated is the best possible protection from covid-19. WHHS encourages everyone who hasn’t already been vaccinated to contact the health department or their personal medical provider and get scheduled to get a vaccine. The health department can be reached at 360-849-4041, M-F 8 to 430.

And tomorrow (Wednesday), the department will begin administering third doses to people with compromised immune systems, and defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC).

"The CDC is indicating that people who are seriously immunocompromised and had either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should get a third dose," Bischoff said in a Tuesday email. "There is no indication yet for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The CDC would prefer that the 3rd dose of the vaccine be the same as the original. The CDC does indicate that it can be interchangeable.

"For us, we will begin offering third doses to anyone who meets the CDC's requirement for severely immunocompromised and already had either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. We only have Pfizer, so that is what we will use to give the third dose.

"I’ve looked at some of the science on using either of the mRNA vaccines for the third dose and it looks solid, meaning that getting a third dose with a different mRNA vaccine, from the first two, seems as efficacious as getting all three from the same manufacturer.

"We will give third doses of Pfizer during our normal clinic times: Monday and Wednesday 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. This will start at our Aug.18 clinic going forward.

"If anyone prefers to get Moderna they will need to find another source.

"We will not ask for any sort of verification on immunocompromised status; we would encourage anyone who thinks they qualify to consult with their primary care provider.

"It is important to note that this does not apply to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Their has been no indication from the CDC on another dose for J&J. If someone originally got the J&J and wants to switch or augment with one of the mRNA vaccines or another dose of J&J, we cannot.

"The third dose must be at least 28 days after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna."


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