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Clark County Public Health to curtail vaccination efforts

Incident management team to ‘demobilize,’ Melnick tells Board of Health

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter
Published:

Clark County Public Health is winding down its COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

The federal incident management team that has helped plan and manage community vaccination sites since January will demobilize on June 30, county Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick told the county Board of Health during a meeting Wednesday.

The Tower Mall vaccination site is closing on Tuesday.

Roughly 60 percent of county residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine, compared with 66 percent of Washington residents, according to Public Health data. The county is averaging about 1,700 doses administered per day, after previously peaking at around 4,700 doses.

Vaccines will still be available through health care providers, clinics and pharmacies.

“As demand has been dropping and as vaccines have become more available elsewhere in the community, we’re wrapping up our COVID-19 vaccination efforts,” Melnick said. “We’re going to be demobilizing our incident management team. I suspect that some of them will be called, possibly, to deal with wildfires.”

Clark County has averaged 36 COVID-19 cases per day in the past two weeks and is experiencing its lowest virus activity since April. Hospitalization rates are also declining, with an average of 6.6 per 100,000 people over seven days.

Melnick said that the vast majority of COVID cases in the state continue to be attributed to “variants of concern.” That includes variants with evidence of increased transmissibility, more severe symptoms or reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines.

“The vaccines are still pretty effective,” Melnick said. “But these are the kinds of things that keep me up at night, because if we end up with a variant that’s resistant to the existing vaccines, where they don’t really work, that could be a huge problem, and we’d need to find a new vaccine for that.”

Clark County Public Health has recorded 2,869 doses administered at mobile pods, 3,732 doses at community vaccination sites and 41,479 doses — all of the Pfizer vaccine — at Tower Mall. The department is also continuing to vaccinate, by request, those who are unhoused or homebound.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter

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