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COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Bellingham and Whatcom County

Bellingham Public Library has gathered information from multiple sources to help the public navigate the COVID-19 Vaccine availability within our community. Rollout of the vaccine is administered by the Washington State Department of Health, and locally by the Whatcom County Health Department. This information will continue to be updated regularly.

General Information on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Check these sources for Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, including who is currently eligible, the cost, vaccine safety, versions available and other concerns.

  • Whatcom County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccine Information includes an overview of the vaccine phases, safety, and potential locations.
  • Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine page includes information on vaccine safety, and how vaccines work, as well as the state’s vaccine distribution plan.
  • PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions includes more indepth information about vaccine safety and availability through PeaceHealth.

How to determine eligibility status for the COVID-19 Vaccine and get proof of eligibility

The Washington State Department of Health is tracking who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine through its Vaccine Phase Finder. Use the interactive tool to determine your own eligibility and get proof of your eligibility. The State asks to ‘Please have proof of eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine before approaching any provider’.

On Mar. 2, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement following President Joe Biden’s directive that all states must prioritize vaccinations of teachers and childcare workers.

“The president has directed us to add preK-12 educators, school staff and licensed childcare workers to our current vaccine prioritization. This directive will be carried out through existing providers and the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which operates through national pharmacies and independent pharmacy chains.

“Therefore, we are adding educators and licensed childcare workers to Washington’s Phase 1B-1 immediately. The Washington State Department of Health will have more specific information soon on how those workers can access vaccines. Phase Finder may take time to reflect these changes, but educators and licensed childcare workers can schedule with providers right away.

Where to Find COVID-19 Vaccination locations in Whatcom County

Washington State has established an online map of Vaccine Locations. This tool allows you to find locations providing vaccines when supply allows. Scroll through the list of counties to find providers and retail pharmacies offering vaccines in Whatcom County. You are asked NOT to call these providers, but you can check availability through their websites. Some require an appointment, some do not.

How to find out when COVID-19 Vaccine is available

Sign up for text or email alerts on local COVID-19 vaccine availability

You can sign up with the Whatcom County Health Department or PeaceHealth St Joseph’s Hospital for text or email alerts about vaccine availability. Your health care provider might also offer this service; check their website. PLEASE DO NOT CALL PROVIDERS TO INQUIRE ABOUT VACCINE AVAILABILITY.

  • Whatcom County Health Department
    Go to the Notify Me list offered by the Whatcom County Health Department. Enter your email when asked and then scroll down until you see the words ‘News Flash’. Then click either the text or email symbol at ‘Health – Public Health News’. There also an archive of Vaccine updates
  • PeaceHealth St Joseph Hospital Also offers signup for COVID-19 vaccine email updates on their COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Center page.

Mass vaccination sites in Washington State

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH), with assistance from the Washington National Guard and local and private sector partners, has launched four mass vaccination sites so far. The sites are located in Kennewick, Ridgefield, Spokane and Wenatchee. They are open by appointment only to people who pre-registered and are eligible for the vaccine.

On Feb. 18, a collaboration of Whatcom County healthcare providers announced plans to open a large-scale community COVID-19 vaccination clinic to be located at Bellingham Technical College in March, depending on vaccine availability. Partners include Bellingham Technical College (BTC), Family Care Network, PeaceHealth, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Unity Care NW and the Whatcom County Health Department.

The group’s goal is to vaccinate up to 5,000 people at this site per week, depending on the reliability of weekly vaccine shipments from the state. The group is working diligently to finalize operations, staffing, logistics and other details.

At a time when the community’s healthcare professionals are under considerable strain, the assistance offered by BTC provides much needed resources for this project. In addition to hosting the vaccination site, students in BTC’s nursing program will help staff the site. Nursing students from Whatcom Community College’s nursing program will also lend their expertise and help staff the vaccination site. 

The community vaccination clinic will abide by the Washington State Department of Health’s phased guidelines for vaccine eligibility. Whatcom County is currently in Phase 1B Tier 1 of vaccine distribution. Those currently eligible for vaccination include anyone 65 and older, all people 50 and older who live in multigenerational households, workers in healthcare settings and long-term care facility staff and residents.

Demand for the vaccine still exceeds supply. All parties are hopeful vaccine shipments will increase in the coming weeks.  All partners are finalizing logistics and operations related to the site’s launch, including an appointment scheduling system.

Community members are asked not to call BTC with questions about vaccination scheduling. Updates about the community vaccination site, including launch date, hours of operation and how to book appointments, will be available on the Whatcom County Health Department’s website soon. Community members can also use the Vaccine Location function at www.covidvaccineWA.org for the latest news on vaccine providers who are accepting appointments. 

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.whatcomcounty.us/covidvaccine or www.covidvaccinewa.org.