Covid update


February 2, 2023

Two more cases of covid-19 were reported in Wahkiakum County over the last week, according to the Washington Department of Health, bringing their cumulative total to 635. The number of hospitalizations remains at 49, and the number of deaths attributed to the virus stands 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.

“Covid-19 rates are holding steady or declining in most of the US,” Wahkiakum Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff said.

While 70.5 of the population in the state of Washington have received the primary series of the vaccine, only 53 percent of Wahkiakum residents have opted to receive the primary series. Only 29.9 percent of the population in Washington state has chosen to receive the bivalent booster, while the number is a little higher in Wahkiakum County, at 32.3 percent.

Bischoff said that data through December is showing that people who were vaccinated were three times more likely not to contract covid-19 than those who are unvaccinated. The same data shows that those not getting vaccinated are five times as likely to die.

“[Vaccines] are very effective and very safe,” Bischoff said.

Bischoff addressed the question about whether natural immunity is better than getting immunity from vaccines.

“There are a lot of internet arguments being made around this,” he said. “I think the main fallacy of the argument is that it is presented as an either/or and in reality you can do both. It's sort of like being a soldier and choosing to only wear body armor or take a rifle with you. Who would do that if both were available? The human body doesn't see immunity as an either/or proposition. Most studies are showing that for covid-19, the best immune response is for people that have been vaccinated and also developed covid-19.”

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.

The health department’s vaccine clinics are held at their Elochoman Valley Campus, at 42 Elochoman Valley Road.

According to 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.

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.


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