Submitted by the Whatcom County Health Department

As of April 19, 38.98% of Whatcom County residents have gotten their first dose, and more than a quarter (26.49%) are fully vaccinated! 

From April 11-17, providers in Whatcom County administered more than 10,000 initial doses! This week Whatcom County providers are due to receive 8,180 first doses and 3,940 second doses.

See the following graphic for more local vaccine data. 

Whatcom County Vax Progress Infographic 4.20

Community Vaccination Center Update

This coming weekend, April 24 and 25, there will be two vaccine clinics held at the Community Vaccination Center. Both clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and both will be offering the Moderna vaccine. 

Anyone 18 or older may sign up! Although 16-17 year-olds can also get the COVID-19 vaccine, the Moderna vaccine is not permitted for use by anyone younger than 18. The only vaccine available for 16-17 year-olds right now is the Pfizer vaccine.

For scheduling instructions and directions, go to VaccinateWhatcom.org

Johnson & Johnson Update

Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is still on pause pending a safety review from the CDC and FDA. This pause doesn’t mean that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is unsafe or won’t be used in the future – this pause does mean that vaccine monitoring systems work, and that public health agencies take swift action to investigate when new adverse effects get reported. 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused because six patients developed a rare type of severe blood clot shortly after COVID-19 vaccination. Although serious, these six cases were the only ones reported out of nearly 7 million vaccines administered nationwide, which means your chances of getting this blood clot after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are less than 1 in a million.

All patients were women between the ages of 18 and 48, and they all started showing symptoms within three weeks of receiving the vaccine. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine less than 3 weeks ago, monitor your symptoms and call your healthcare provider if you experience severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath. 

Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still available and make up 94% of our state’s supply. Read this DOH article for more information about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause and what it means for Washington. 

Weekly Vaccine MythBusted: Vaccines and Infertility

There are many myths swirling around about the COVID-19 vaccine, and we’re going to tackle one of them every week. This week, we’re busting the infertility myth.

The COVID-19 vaccine does not cause infertility or miscarriage. If you’re currently pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, the COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and encouraged. In fact, getting vaccinated for COVID-19 actually helps protect you and your baby from COVID-19. 

This myth spread on social media as part of a disinformation campaign thought to originate from postings by a former scientist with anti-vaccine views. The information shared is scientifically invalid, however, as neither COVID-19 nor the COVID-19 vaccine have been linked to infertility or miscarriage. Rates of miscarriage have not increased among pregnant women who’ve contracted COVID-19. Since the COVID-19 vaccine produces the same antibodies that COVID-19 infection would, if rates of miscarriage or infertility increased with one, we would see the same with the other. This has not been the case. 

According to the CDC, there is currently no evidence that any COVID-19 vaccine causes problems during pregnancy, including development of the placenta. For more details about this and other COVID-19 vaccine myths, check out this Mayo Clinic article

Take It Outside

COVID-19 transmission has been trending upwards in recent weeks, prompting Governor Inslee to urge Washingtonians to “take it outside.” You’re much less likely to catch or spread COVID-19 outdoors than indoors, and the sunny warm weather we’ve all been enjoying makes spending more time outdoors a no-brainer. 

Here’s some tips for staying safe while staying outside:

  • Keep wearing your mask and keeping your distance whenever you’re spending time with or around anyone you don’t live with. 
  • Avoid crowded parks or trails.
  • It’s fine to take off your mask outside when no one’s around, but keep it close at hand so you can put it back on if someone passes by. 
  • Take all of these safety precautions even if you’re vaccinated. 

More Information

More information about the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine planning, and vaccine safety can be found on the DOH’s COVID-19 vaccine web page at www.covidvaccinewa.org. For information about COVID-19 vaccination in Whatcom County, visit our webpage at www.whatcomcounty.us/covidvaccine

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