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Preparing for Community Vaccination Clinic: Next Steps


January 14, 2021

-File photo

Columbia County Health System (CCHS) has been providing COVID–19 vaccinations for the past two weeks according to Washington States Department of Health (DOH) Phase 1A guidance which includes the following individuals: High-risk workers in health care settings; high-risk first responders; residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, congregate living settings where most individuals over the age of 65 of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance.

The Governor stated, once these categories are completed then all workers in health care settings may be vaccinated. CCHS has currently vaccinated 150 individuals that fall into this stage, and Walgreens completed vaccinations of the Booker Rest Home residents on Saturday, January 9, 2021.

CCHS Vaccine team members met on Monday January 11, 2021 to discuss planning and operational workflows for a community vaccine clinic for the individuals who fall into the next Phase 1B1-(Tier 1), which includes all people over the age of 70 and older, along with people 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households. The team has decided that our first focus will be to vaccinate individuals that are over the age of 70.

According to the hospital district/county data 20% of our population (approximately 800 people) are individuals over the age of 70. At this time there are about 400 people that have reserved their spot for a vaccine and 197 of those individuals are over the age of 70.

As CCHS and the community moves forward to prepare for the Phases 1B1-(Tier-1) Shane McGuire, CEO for CCHS has reached out to Columbia County Commissioner, Marty Hall to secure a location within the county where CCHS could set up a permanent vaccination clinic for the next few months. This area has to be large enough to accommodate the number of individuals wanting to receive the vaccination. Unlike the drive up-flu clinics where people can just drive up and receive a flu vaccine in their car. There a number of steps and guidelines that require operational workflows that are currently being worked on which include the following but not limited to:

1. Staffing-CCHS has determined it is going to take approximately 8-10 individuals to man the vaccine clinic. There will be four-stations which will include screeners, reviewers to hand out paperwork, consent forms and answer any questions, vaccine administrators, along with licensed staff to monitor for the 15-minute post-vaccine time period.

2. Individuals to enter the data into the state vaccine website

3. Dates and times of clinics- CCHS is waiting on the DOH and the Governor to release when organizations can start vaccinating for Phases 1B1. The Governor has stated this can be as soon as this month. Once we know we will let the community know.

4. How to notify people when they can come and receive their vaccine

5. How do vaccinate people that can't get to the vaccine clinic

CCHS is dedicated and committed to getting our community and hospital district vaccinated as safe and as quickly as we can per the DOH and Governor's guidance. Community wide vaccination will also depend on how much of the vaccine we are allocated by the state.

We request that if you would like to get on the list and have questions regarding Covid-19 to please call Public Health at 509-382-2181. CCHS is working closely with Public Health, EMS, and the County to get the vaccine clinic up and ready to go, we appreciate your patience.

Submitted by Stephanie Carpenter, COO


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