I am volunteering at the local vaccination clinic hosted by San Juan County at the Orcas Center. It has been a good opportunity to understand the process and pitch in. The County has done a great job setting up the clinics on each island, ensuring a safe and quick experience for those fortunate to get one of the select appointments. This week, there will be 40 2nd doses and 100 initial doses delivered. In addition, the Orcas Family Health Center will run a simultaneous clinic to distribute the 100 doses they received directly. A big shout out to the Orcas Center for providing their facility for these ongoing clinics.
Unfortunately, the challenges of scheduling an appointment have overshadowed these great efforts that the County has invested in setting up the clinics and training volunteers. Due to the very limited supply of doses, the online appointments are claimed almost immediately, leaving so many disappointed and frustrated. The County has changed to a new online system that should be somewhat better, but until the supply increases, far more people will not succeed in securing a spot.
The County is working with the Senior Center and the Resource Centers to identify community members who are not able to sign up online and reserve a percentage of slots for those folks. (They are urging folks to recognize the difference between unable to and unwilling to). If you have neighbors who could use this help, please let them know it is available and have them call to get on the list.
If you are a patient of OFHC, they are reaching out as vaccines are available. UW patients can register for a vaccine through the UWCare online system, although all appointments are for the Seattle area, so transportation is required. Ray’s pharmacy has recently been approved for vaccine delivery and hopes to receive a shipment shortly. The Lopez pharmacy has already received and distributed 200 doses.
While not ideal, this is the situation. Eventually, we will all have an opportunity to get the vaccine. Until then, we need to keep our guard up, our frustration in check, and help each other as best we can.