More than 930 residents and staff at adult family homes and other long-term care facilities were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday and Friday, as volunteer teams fanned out across Clark and Cowlitz counties.
About 50 volunteers from Medical Reserve Corps and Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue administered the vaccines. Over two days, teams of Medical Reserve Corps volunteers traveled to about 130 adult family homes and Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue personnel vaccinated residents and staff at two assisted living facilities and three senior independent living facilities.
Residents and staff at long-term care facilities were eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1a of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan. Clark County Public Health identified adult family homes in the region not enrolled in the federal program that utilizes pharmacies to vaccinate long-term facility residents and staff and offered to send volunteer vaccinators to those facilities.
The mobile vaccination sites are the latest in an effort between Clark County Public Health, Cowlitz County Health and Human Services, Skamania County Community Health, and Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 to open community vaccination sites throughout the three-county region.
“Our team, with the support of our incredible volunteers, was able to successfully vaccinate more than 930 people in their homes or workplaces in two days,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, health officer for Clark, Cowlitz, and Skamania counties. “This demonstrates that through collaboration between the three counties, the incident management team, and our community partners, we can make COVID-19 vaccine more accessible for our high-risk populations.”
Vaccine supply continues to be a limiting factor. Currently, the number of people eligible to be vaccinated far exceeds the amount of vaccine available.
Clark County vaccination sites, pharmacies, and providers were allocated 5,450 first dose vaccines this week. For the last several weeks, the number of first doses coming to Clark County has ranged from 1,500 to 3,700 each week.
For comparison, Clark County has about 89,000 people who are 65 years or older, which is one group eligible for vaccination in Phase 1b Tier 1.
In anticipation of increased vaccine allocations, Clark, Cowlitz, and Skamania counties are continuing to work with Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3 on plans to open multiple mobile and fixed-location community vaccination sites across Southwest Washington. The counties intend to open additional sites as vaccine supply allows.
For additional information about COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and accessing vaccine, visit the Clark County Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine webpage. Those interested in volunteering with Clark County Public Health can learn more on the Emergency Response Volunteers webpage.