Current Vaccination Eligibility: Everyone 12+
Virus statistics: There have been no new cases among Vashon residents for the last two editions of this report. Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) reports 121 positive cases of COVID-19 on Vashon since the pandemic began.
VACCINATION AVAILABILITY UPDATE
The overview: Vaccine supplies continue to meet or exceed demand, with plenty of vaccine doses in stock to provide islanders with their injections. Fewer people need the service, now that the island’s first-dose vaccination rate has hit nearly 90%.
Vaccinations free to all: All COVID-19 vaccinations are free. If you have insurance, you’ll be asked for your information so providers can recover the cost of administering the free vaccine, but there’s no co-pay. If you do not have insurance, the cost is covered anyway and you will not be charged.
School vaccinations: Two days of vaccination clinics were held last week at Vashon High School and McMurray Middle School, completing the mobile vaccination clinic project at the School District before school lets out and providing protection for kids’ summer activities. Students who still need a first or second dose of vaccine, but were not able to participate in the school clinics, can make arrangements at Vashon Pharmacy or Sea Mar Clinic (see details below).
Get your second dose: Vaccination completion by Vashon residents continues to improve, but there is still a nearly 14-point gap between first-dose recipients and those who have gained full vaccination protection by getting two doses. Even if you got your first dose at an off-island provider, you can go to Sea Mar Clinic or Vashon Pharmacy to complete your vaccination (see details below). When coming for a second dose, bring your vaccination card, so the vaccine administrators can be sure to give you the correct vaccine and check for proper spacing between your first and second doses. Nearly all vaccine recipients in our community have received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, which each require two doses. But anyone who got a Johnson & Johnson injection has already completed their vaccination course since the J&J vaccine requires only a single dose.
Vashon Pharmacy vaccinations: To get your first-dose vaccination, you are encouraged to go to VashonPharmacy.com/COVID to pre-register and make an appointment, which could save you some time. However, you may drop in without an appointment Monday through Saturday if you prefer. Pharmacy vaccination hours during the week are 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays, the hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Just go to the white vaccination tents at the rear of the Pharmacy, or look for a sign directing you to go inside the Pharmacy. Second dose appointments can’t be made online but you may call the Pharmacy for a second dose appointment at (206) 463-9118, or you can drop in without an appointment during any of the operating hours listed above.
Sea Mar Clinic vaccinations: As demand for vaccinations has declined, Sea Mar has been adjusting its vaccination operations. In order to avoid wasting leftover vaccines from the multi-dose vials, they are trying to concentrate patients to a few days a week. To find out when Sea Mar is offering vaccinations, and what vaccine is on offer, go to SeaMar.org/COVID-Vaccine. You can also make an appointment in advance and be sure of getting your injection by calling the Sunrise Ridge clinic at (206) 463 -3671.
Standing firm on June 30 Reopening: Governor Jay Inslee has confirmed his intention to order reopening of Washington State on June 30 or earlier. The Governor said in a briefing that limits on capacity will be lifted for all businesses, except for large indoor event venues. Venues that can accommodate 10,000 or more people will still be restricted to 75% capacity, as a precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. However, other businesses, including restaurants, bars, theaters and fitness centers, will no longer be limited to 50% of capacity.
The vaccine is working: Governor Inslee also said that in Washington State, 66% of people ages 16 and older have received at least an initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. He pointed out that the evidence shows vaccination has been working because 98% of people hospitalized in King County in April and May were not vaccinated. He emphasized that people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are 21 times more likely to contract the disease.
Job searching will be required in July: The governor and the legislature are reinstating the job-search requirement for anyone claiming unemployment benefits. Beginning the week of July 5, 2021, claimants will be required to conduct and report at least 3 job-search activities each week to continue claiming benefits. The Employment Security Department (ESD) has a preliminary list of acceptable job search activities at bit.ly/ESDjobSearch and will publish additional guidance starting next week. For career development and job-search assistance, contact the Chamber’s Ask the Expert firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about unemployment benefits, contact email@example.com.
Watch out for vax lottery scammers: Washington’s COVID-19 “Shot of a Lifetime” lottery drawing has launched and the first prizes have been awarded. To help protect yourself against fraud, it’s important to be sure of the identity of someone calling or emailing about the vaccine lottery. The state’s Lottery agency wants everyone to know that winners will be contacted by phone but the Lottery will not ask for any personal or financial information, so don’t give out your Social Security Number or mother’s maiden name or similar details.
Yes, your lottery entry is in the records: The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released a statement to assure Washingtonians that vaccination records have been transmitted to the Washington State Immunization Information System (WAIIS) and they are eligible for the “Shot of a Lifetime” lottery drawing. DOH acknowledged that people have experienced challenges in trying to confirm their records in MyIR Mobile and the MyIR immunization records website. People who have questions about their vaccination status eligibility for the lottery can call the state’s vaccine hotline at 1-833-VAX HELP.
More pandemic relief funding: King County Council passed a new $631 million COVID-19 relief budget. Council members said the COVID-19 pandemic underscored how important it is to drive equitable investments into our communities, and this principle guided their budget priorities. The latest emergency funding includes:• $36 million to help our local arts and culture industries recover.
- $67 million for jobs and economic recovery.
- $117 million for vaccination efforts.
- $256 million for rental assistance, food security, and other essential community supports.
Support for people living in RVs: Vashon’s COVID-19 RV dump service now comes to the island every other Wednesday. Folks wanting this service need to first sign up, and then the Honey Bucket pumper truck can come regularly to the place where the RV or trailer is located. This is a trial program running through December. Contact Hilary Emmer at 206-463-7277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency Operations Center (EOC): Vashon’s pandemic emergency response was activated 15 months and one week ago (463 days). Our current operational priorities are health, food security, housing security, and economic recovery, as established by the Incident Commander, Fire Chief Charlie Krimmert, and approved by the VashonBePrepared Board.
MRC/Testing: Plans are almost completed to make sure Vashon residents will still have access to COVID-19 testing on the island, even after the pandemic activation winds down to monitoring/standby mode. The plan will include continued testing and contact tracing services for anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, as well as access to home testing for those who need testing for other purposes, such as travel or prior to a medical procedure.
EOC/MRC/CERT: Collaboration continues with both of the island vaccination sites, Sea Mar clinic and Vashon Pharmacy, to ensure that island residents will have local access to COVID-19 vaccination. The ongoing gradual wind-down of the intensive volunteer support at Vashon Pharmacy will not end local vaccination.
VashonBePrepared.org: We have launched a project to begin transitioning the coalition’s website back to its pre-pandemic status. Initially, the COVID-19 information page will continue to greet visitors first, as the dominant topic of island interest. Over the next few months, the website will begin moving to emphasize other hazards in the mission of the VashonBePrepared coalition, such as wildfire risk, winter weather, and next year’s multi-state Cascadia Rising earthquake exercise.
Vashon COVID Relief Fund: The June disbursement to VashonBePrepared’s social service and economic recovery agencies is in the preparation stages. The VashonBePrepared Board will meet next week to discuss the next steps, including the establishment of a permanent reserve fund to make it possible to activate rapidly in response to a future emergency.
Volunteers: For the last full week reporting period, 31 volunteers contributed 295 hours of work to VashonBePrepared’s pandemic emergency response. That brings the total contributed hours to over 30,845 since the activation began. At the FEMA reimbursement grant rate of $31.72/hour, VashonBePrepared volunteers have run up more than $978,400 of contributed in-kind value. VashonBePrepared gives thanks to the staff and volunteers of local social services agencies for the many hours of extra work logged during the pandemic.
This information is compiled from the Situation Reports produced by the EOC Situation Section and provided to The Beachcomber to help islanders stay informed and safe. To receive reports and other emergency information emails, go to VoiceofVashon.org/alertsignup.