Limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines mean thousands of Clark County residents might have to wait longer to receive doses through local health care providers.
Instead, people are urged to seek vaccines through the state Department of Health mass vaccination site at the Clark County Fairgrounds, which opens Tuesday.
Clark County Public Health has received requests from more than 18,000 people eligible to receive the vaccine. The agency has been referring those people to local facilities, including PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, Vancouver Clinic, and Sea Mar Community Health Centers.
In a news release Sunday, Clark County Public Health said some of those local health facilities won’t receive new supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine next week. Therefore, the county will be limited in how many people it can refer to local providers.
“Those who have submitted requests with Public Health will remain on our list, and we’ll continue to work with local health care facilities to get those individuals connected with vaccine as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director. “However, some people may be able to be vaccinated sooner at the fairgrounds site.”
Vaccines at the fairgrounds are by appointment only and available to those in Phase 1a and Phase 1b Tier 1 of the state’s vaccine eligibility schedule. That includes everyone over 65, people 50 or older in a multigenerational household, high risk health care workers, high-risk first responders and residents of long-term care facilities.
Appointments can be made through the state Department of Health website.
Public Health will continue to accept vaccine requests. Given the large volume of requests and limited supply, it may take several weeks before people are contacted by a facility to schedule a vaccination appointment, the county said.
As of Wednesday, more than 15,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Clark County, according to the Department of Health.