Coronavirus / COVID Updates

Woman and Child in Masks

Due to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases in Clallam County, which is substantially impacting our hospital, clinical services, and our providers, you may experience longer than usual wait times when scheduling appointments, when being seen during appointments, and when awaiting responses to phone calls and messages. We thank you for your patience during this unprecedented public health crisis and we continue to encourage all community residents to get vaccinated.   

Vaccinations

The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has been granted full FDA approval for individuals 16 years of age and older based on conclusive evidence of its safety and effectiveness. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals 12 through 15 years of age.

We are currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations for our patients during regularly scheduled appointments. This includes the two-shot Pfizer vaccine approved for ages 12 and older, and the two-shot Moderna and one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines approved for ages 18 and older. Vaccinations are also available at many local pharmacies. Visit vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov for a location near you.

3rd COVID Vaccine Doses at NOHN

Per FDA and CDC guidelines, NOHN is authorized to offer a 3rd Moderna or Pfizer vaccine dose to moderately or severely immunocompromised NOHN patients who previously received two prior Pfizer or Moderna doses.

At this time, the approved qualifying criteria to receive a 3rd dose are:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich syndromes)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, TNF blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.

At this time, we are not authorized to give 3rd doses to any other patients, regardless of age, chronic disease, pregnancy, etc. Please check back here soon for more information on future 3rd dose eligibility as we receive updates.

Masking

Please note, masks are required at our clinics. Patients and visitors are asked to bring and wear their own masks. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you.

Testing

Starting Monday Aug 30, NOHN will be providing drive-up COVID testing for patients not needing a clinical evaluation/appointment. Triage nurses will be making the determination of which patients are eligible for the service and which patients may require further evaluation. Please note, NOHN does not have the capacity to do pre-travel COVID testing.


COVID-19 Vaccine: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does the COVID-19 vaccine do?
A: The COVID-19 vaccination protects you from getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19. Being protected from getting sick is important because even though many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness, others may get a severe illness, have long-term health effects, or even die. The COVID-19 vaccine has not been proven to prevent you from spreading COVID, which is why it is important that we vaccinate as many people as possible.

Q: What’s the difference between a 3rd dose and a booster dose of the COVID vaccine?
A. 3rd doses are currently recommended for immunocompromised patients who may not have had an adequate initial response to their first 2 doses. Per FDA and CDC guidelines, NOHN is authorized to offer a 3rd Moderna or Pfizer vaccine dose to moderately or severely immunocompromised NOHN patients who previously received two prior Moderna or Pfizer doses. Please talk to your care team about the qualifying criteria.

Booster doses are for patients who had an adequate initial response to the vaccine but need another dose to boost their immunity that may have waned. There has not yet been a recommendation for a booster dose.

Q: The COVID-19 vaccine was developed more quickly than regular vaccines. What does this mean for the safety of the vaccine?
A: The part of the COVID-19 vaccine development process that was accelerated was largely the paperwork phase. The testing phase was as rigorous as all vaccine testing and over 75,000 people received the vaccine in clinical trials. COVID-19 vaccines have passed all safety and effectiveness requirements.

Q: Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
A: No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

Q: After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
A: No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

Q: If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.

Q: Will I be charged for the vaccine?
A: No. You should not be charged out-of-pocket costs, or receive a bill from your provider or from the vaccination facility. This applies to people who have private insurance, have Apple Health (Medicaid), have Medicare, or are uninsured.

Q: Do I need to share my immigration status to get a COVID vaccine?
A: No. North Olympic Healthcare Network will not ask for that information.

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