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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 28, 2021
CONTACT:Heather Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – With tens of thousands getting vaccinated weekly, Snohomish County has now reached a point where 50 percent of all residents have received at least one vaccine. That percentage increases to 60 percent when looking at eligible residents 12 and up, and nearly 62 percent when tracking the Governor’s metric of 16 years and older.
The younger population has been quick on the uptake. In the few weeks since the Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for those 12 and up, more than 24 percent of those 12-15 years of age in the county have initiated vaccination.
“We’re currently fifth in the state for the percentage of residents over 16 initiating vaccination, which is excellent progress,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District. “We’ve been dealing with this pandemic longer than any other county in the nation. I’m hopeful that Snohomish County can keep rallying together so we can get to the other side of this state of emergency soon. Although we may not completely eliminate COVID-19, high vaccination coverage can minimize its future impacts.”
The Snohomish Health District has also analyzed vaccination rates based on ZIP code.
Please note that due to a variety of challenges in the use of ZIP codes to assign city-of-residence, as well as limitations in quality of address information in the statewide COVID-19 vaccine database, these should be taken as rough estimates rather than precise figures.
“Nevertheless, this is helpful information for us to continue monitoring monthly as we work with the partners in the vaccine taskforce on more community vaccine clinics moving forward,” added Dr. Spitters.
Additional vaccine data will be published online at www.snohd.org/covidvaccine on or about Tuesday, June 1.
The Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce announced this week that mass vaccination sites are beginning to wind down as focus shifts toward community-based clinics. The Angel of The Winds Arena and Boom City mass vaccination sites closed this week. The other five sites remain available at this time.
First dose Moderna appointments will no longer be offered at the mass vaccination sites after June 1, and most of the sites are expected to stop offering first dose Pfizer soon, as well. The sites are set to remain open longer for second doses to make sure everyone who receives their first dose can get fully vaccinated.
Now is the time to get your shot if you want to get vaccinated at one of these sites. Schedules and appointment info are available at http://bit.ly/snocovaccine.
Multiple first-dose, community-based clinics scheduled during the month of June are open to the public. A calendar with more information about those clinics is available at http://bit.ly/snocojuneclinics. This includes several school-based clinics and two vaccination events at Funko Field for those attending the AquaSox games on June 1 or June 2.
Vaccines at these community-based clinics are provided at no cost to patients, regardless of insurance status. Anyone between the ages of 12 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian.
For help finding a COVID vaccine near you:
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) announced that it has seen an increase in reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) of cases of inflammation of the heart or its outer lining—called myocarditis and pericarditis, respectively—happening after vaccination.
According to the CDC, these reports are rare given the more than 165 million doses administered. They have been reported after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), particularly in adolescents and young adults. There has not been a similar reporting pattern observed after receipt of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and its partners are actively monitoring these reports, by reviewing data and medical records, to learn more about the cases’ medical history and to confirm whether the cause is indeed COVID-19 vaccination or something else.
“The Health District has been in communication with the Washington State Department of Health and our local health care community to assess the extent to which this is occurring and to make clinicians aware of the matter,” said Dr. Spitters. “While we have anecdotal reports of this occurring in vaccine recipients, it will take some time to quantify the extent of the issue locally.”
CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine safety workgroup reviewed this issue last week and found that cases of myocarditis associated with vaccination have occurred:
The workgroup recommended continuing the vaccination effort while also alerting clinicians to this phenomenon.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. In both cases, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger. Respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses are the most common causes. Patients can usually return to their normal daily activities after their symptoms improve, and they should speak with their doctor about return to exercise or sports.
Learn more about myocarditis and pericarditis at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-inflammation.
Symptoms to look for include chest pain, shortness of breath, or feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart—often referred to as “palpitations.” Consult your health care provider promptly if you think you or your child have any of these symptoms. If you believe you had similar symptoms after vaccination, please reach out to your primary care provider to determine if a report to VAERS is warranted.
The CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 years of age and older, given the risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death. If you or your child has already gotten the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, it’s important to get the second dose unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.
The known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis. If you have concerns about COVID-19 vaccination, talk with your or your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic.
Note that the Lynnwood Food Bank testing site will be closed on Saturday, May 29 and all sites will be closed on Monday, May 31 in observance of Memorial Day. The schedule for the remainder of the week will be as follows:
Appointments for testing are encouraged, and registration is available at www.snohd.org/testing. Those without internet access or needing language assistance can reach the Health District’s call center at 425.339.5278 to schedule a testing appointment. The call center is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Callers after hours or on weekends can leave a message, which will be returned on the next business day.