South Whidbey vaccine clinic thrives without electricity

The Coupeville clinic did not yield the same high turnout as those in South Whidbey and Oak Harbor.

Island County’s vaccination clinic in Coupeville last Thursday did not yield the same high turnout as those in South Whidbey and Oak Harbor, though South Whidbey’s clinic saw success despite adverse weather conditions.

Island County reported that a total of 71 people received COVID-19 vaccines at the clinic in Coupeville Nov. 18. Most of those were children, though some adults also received booster shots.

County health officials said it is difficult to determine why Thursday’s clinic saw such a dip in participation, though the presence of the hospital might be a factor since some families may have opted to take their children there.

On the South End, however, the vaccine clinic boomed. Despite the ongoing power outage, 192 people received vaccines last Tuesday evening.

Elizabeth Smith, operations chief for the county’s COVID response team, said the team worried volunteers and children who had scheduled vaccination appointments wouldn’t show up because of the power outage.

“We were hoping that we would at least get everybody who had signed up even though the power was out,” Smith said.

Not only did 12 more people than were scheduled arrive to get shots, including some adults who received boosters, extra volunteers also showed up to help mitigate problems caused by the power outage.

In Oak Harbor on Nov. 13, 254 children received first doses of the COVID vaccine.

The county will be holding another set of clinics in December for kids to get their second shots. These follow-up clinics will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at Oak Harbor Elementary School; 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7 at South Whidbey Elementary School; and 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9 at Coupeville Elementary School.

With 31 new cases, the 14-day case rate for the two-week period ending on Nov. 17 was 243.16 per 100,000 people for children ages 0 to 11 in Island County. The 14-day case rate for the same period for people age 20 and older was 184.71 per 100,000.

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