With the county surpassing the 35,000 vaccination mark this week — and staying ahead of the state’s average vaccine administration consistently for the past two months — a troubling trend is showing up: people who have received a first dose of vaccine not showing up for their second.
“Many Grays Harbor County residents who have received their first dose of vaccine are not showing up for their second dose,” said Maranatha Hay, Public Health Incident Commander, COVID-19 Response.
At Thursday’s clinic alone, about 50 people did not schedule their second dose, she said.
“This is very concerning because not only are these individuals still susceptible to COVID-19, but they are also taking up a scheduled vaccine slot that could have gone to someone desperately needing it,” said Hay. “Additionally, many residents who are eligible for their second dose are showing up on their correct second dose date, but did not make an appointment for their vaccine. An appointment is still required to receive a second dose. This is because in order to prevent wastage, we only draw as many vaccine doses as we have appointments scheduled.”
As of March 29, the most current state Department of Health data, 35,750 total COVID vaccinations have been given in the county. Grays Harbor Public Health reported that just under 30% of the county’s population has received a first dose, and nearly 19% is fully vaccinated.
There will be another second dose clinic of 702 doses of Pfizer on April 8 for those who got their first doses between March 11 and March 13. Those who received their first dose were contacted this week to schedule their second dose shot, either by phone or email.
“We are also going to be scheduling a first dose clinic of approximately 900 doses of Moderna on April 9,” said Hay. “We are being sent more vaccines for upcoming first dose clinics,” she added, for clinics that will be scheduled for April 22-23. The links to those will be posted at healthygh.org/covid19-vaccine-appointment, where first dose clinics are posted when they are available.
The eligibility pool is opening up April 15, when anyone over the age of 16 becomes eligible.
“This is partially due to increasing allotments across the state,” said Hay. “If appointments are available after April 15, all people ages 16 can sign up now for those appointments after April 15.” To find an appointment near you, go to the state Department of Health’s vaccine locator site, vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/.
Daily reported COVID-19 cases in Grays Harbor County have been in the single digits for the majority of the week of March 25-31, the most current data available from the state Department of Health.
Data shows a total of 3,550 cases for the county during the more than year-long pandemic. In the week of March 24-31, 36 new cases were reported, compared to 74 new cases the previous week. There were 18 new cases reported Friday, March 26 — there were no cases, deaths or new hospitalizations reported Monday, March 28.
The death total in Grays Harbor County is 57, with no new deaths reported the week of March 24-31. Hospitalizations ticked up by six that week, for a total of 177 for the pandemic.
The number of active cases in Pacific County more than tripled the week of March 24-31, from four to 13, but that number is lower than the March 17 number of 25.
Since a bump up in over a two-week period, that number has been dropping since 41 were reported March 17, to 19 March 24, and 14 March 31. The cases per 100,000 population over two weeks dropped to 64.7 and has been dropping steadily since mid-March.
As of March 27, more than a quarter of the county’s population has received two doses of vaccine. Total doses as of that date stood at 14,552, and 31.5% of the county’s population has received the first vaccine dose.