New COVID-19 vaccination appointments with Skagit Regional Health are on hold and it’s unclear when they will begin again, as the health care provider continues to await stability in its vaccine delivery.
Like others doing vaccinations, Skagit Regional Health has been unable to keep up with demand, due significantly to the small, inconsistent deliveries from the state Department of Health.
“Our plan is completely dependent upon vaccine supply at this point so we are not able to provide any firm timelines,” President and CEO Brian Ivie said in an email.
Skagit County Public Health and Island Hospital are among others who have put vaccine appointments on hold.
Skagit Regional Health stopped scheduling new appointments Friday. In order to avoid having to cancel appointments, Ivie said the provider will use next week’s shipment to inoculate those who are already scheduled to be vaccinated.
Future appointments will be available once more vaccine is on hand, he said.
Those 65 and older and those 50 and older who live in multigenerational homes are eligible to be vaccinated.
About 18,000 people are on Skagit Regional Health’s waitlist, accessible through its vaccine webpage at skagitregionalhealth.org/covid/covid-vaccine.
In total, Skagit Regional Health has received 5,025 doses of the vaccine through the state distribution process and 3,100 from other providers and counties, Ivie said. He is continuing to work with other entities to transfer available vaccine to Skagit Regional Health.
“As we receive vaccine and have fulfilled our existing commitments, we will then begin scheduling people from the waitlist,” he said.
Skagit Regional Health is operating vaccination clinics in Mount Vernon and Smokey Point.
Meanwhile, only about 59% of the provider’s workforce is vaccinated, well short of meeting the herd immunity goal of at least 80%, according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Connie Davis.
“We would like to have all of our staff vaccinated however, we cannot mandate that staff be vaccinated,” she said in an email. “There are some staff who are waiting for more data.”
So far, about 13% of staff have declined to be vaccinated, Dr. Mary Ann Hink, chief physician officer, said in an email. Staff continue to be vaccinated alongside eligible members of the general public who have appointments.
Other vaccine providers in the county are listed on the state Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination website, doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/vaccine,
Skagit County Public Health, which is operating a vaccination clinic at the county fairgrounds, won’t be scheduling new appointments until at least Friday because of uncertainty with the size of its next shipment.
Appointments to receive the vaccine through Island Hospital have been postponed, and an announcement about when they will resume will be made Monday.
Of the listed providers, the Sea Mar clinic in Concrete is the only one operating in east county. According to Sea Mar’s website, no doses are available.
Sea Mar is not taking appointments, meaning vaccines will only be given to walk-in patients at its three clinics in Skagit County.