Covid update


January 12, 2023

One more case of covid-19 was reported in Wahkiakum County over the last week according to the Washington Department of Health, bringing the cumulative total to 633.

Meanwhile, the number of hospitalizations rose by two to 50, and the number of deaths attributed to the virus remains at 10.

Disclaimer: With the easy accessibility of at home tests, the actual number of active covid-19 cases and actual cumulative numbers in the county are hard to know.

“There is a new dominant variant in most of the US, XBB.1.5,” Wahkiakum Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff said on Monday. “XBB.1.5 is a subvariant of omicron. As usual, there are a lot of rumors flying around the internet, most of which are patently untrue. It takes time for researchers to be able to fully figure out a new subvariant and how it operates, so when people speak definitively about an emerging subvariant, they are doing so from personal bias. Here’s what science suspects, at this point, from early research: XBB.1.5 appears to be better at replicating inside hosts (us); XBB.1.5 does not appear to be better at evading the body’s immune system then the other two most recent dominant variants; the current booster appears to be effective at aiding the body’s immune system against this variant; transmission rates in the US are at a high level so this new subvariant could lead to another wave; the hope is that with the new booster and people’s immune response from previous exposure, we will not have a massive wave caused by XBB.1.5.”

While 70.4 percent of the state population has completed the primary series of the vaccine, only 28.6 percent of the population eligible for the bivalent booster has opted to take it. In Wahkiakum County, 52.8 percent of the population has completed the primary series of the vaccine and 30.8 percent of those eligible for the bivalent booster have received it.

The primary series of the Pfizer vaccine and the new Pfizer bivalent booster, including a version for juveniles, are available at the vaccine clinic offered by Wahkiakum Health and Human Services.

The clinic is held on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.and 1:30-3 p.m. Call 360-849-4041 for more information.

After the health department’s recent move, their vaccine clinics will now be held at their new location on their Elochoman Valley Campus, at 42 Elochoman Valley Road.

According to WHHS Director Chris Bischoff, the waiting room/check-in area for the clinic is in the first building that people see when they turn into the south driveway, called Building 1. Parking is to the right. The entrance is at the northeast corner of the building. People will be greeted and given the forms they need to fill out for their visit.

Please note: There will be no shot clinic on January 16.

The primary series of the Moderna vaccine and the new Moderna bivalent booster are now available at the Cathlamet Pharmacy by appointment, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 2-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 360-795-3691 for more information or to make an appointment.

Flu shots are available at the pharmacy by appointment. The flu shot and the booster can be given at the same time. WHHS is offering both the high dose and regular adult flu shots and the juvenile flu shots during their clinics.

It’s not too late to get a flu shot, Bischoff said.


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