Public Health Expanding Hours of Operation at the Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site Beginning October 4th

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September 28, 2021

The Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will be expanding its hours of operatioThe Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site will be expanding its hours of operation next week to better serve the community and reduce wait times. Beginning on Monday October 4, the new operating hours will be from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The site will no longer operate on Wednesdays.

“This change was necessary given current demand for testing here in Skagit County. We’ve heard from the community that more evening testing options are needed so we are pleased to be able to respond to these needs.”

Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director

Vaccination services continue to be offered to all people 12 years and older. People can access a first or second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or a single-dose of Johnson & Johnson, when supplies are available. Third doses of Pfizer and Moderna are also available to certain immunocompromised individuals. Please speak with your healthcare provider about whether an additional dose is appropriate for you.

Beginning September 29th, Pfizer booster doses will be available BY APPOINTMENT ONLY for eligible individuals who received Pfizer for their first and second dose. If you received your second dose of Pfizer in March 2021 or earlier, you may now be eligible for a booster dose if you meet the criteria below. Those eligible for a Pfizer booster dose include:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings.
  • People aged 18–64 years with underlying medical conditions.
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting.

To make an appointment for a Pfizer booster, please use the PrepMod online appointment finder. Under “Search By Name of Location,” enter “Skagit County Public Health.” If there are no appointment dates listed, please check back in a few days. For assistance, call (360) 416-1500.

Snapshot from PrepMod

Please bring your Vaccination Card with you when coming for a second or third dose, or a Pfizer booster dose.
For more info about the CDC guidance: https://bit.ly/3i73NKL.

As a reminder, antigen testing is now limited to individuals who live, work, or go to school in Skagit County. Those coming for testing must be 5 years or older and must (a) be currently symptomatic or (b) have had recent exposure to COVID-19.

Those seeking testing or vaccination, and who meet the above criteria, are asked to come to the South Gate Entrance at 501 Taylor Street in Mount Vernon. Services are free; no appointment is required for testing, or vaccination 1st, 2nd, and 3rd doses. Appointments will be required for Pfizer booster doses beginning September 29th. 

Remember: The Skagit County Fairgrounds is not the only testing or vaccine location here in Skagit County, and folks should anticipate long wait times when coming to the site. Site capacity is limited, and vehicles will be turned away if/when the site reaches its daily capacity limits. A full list of testing and vaccine providers in Skagit County can be found on our website: www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus.

Lastly, please do not arrive more than 30 minutes before the site opens to keep traffic off Cleveland Avenue. For more information about the Skagit County Fairgrounds Testing and Vaccination Site, please go to our website at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus or call (360) 416-1500.


We’re Open Again: COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination to Begin at Skagit County Fairgrounds on August 30th

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August 25, 2021

[updated August 27, 2021]

Beginning Monday, August 30th, Skagit County will once again be operating a COVID-19 testing and vaccination site at the Skagit County Fairgrounds. Both testing and vaccination will be available to the public free of cost, Monday through Friday from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Note: The Fairgrounds testing and vaccine site will be closed on Monday, September 6th for the Labor Day holiday, and Friday, September 10th due to an event that was pre-scheduled to take place on site.

The decision to reopen the Fairgrounds location was made due to the recent spike in cases in Skagit County, and the accompanying increase in demand for testing services. The latest COVID-19 modeling and surveillance situation report from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shows current COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions at their highest levels to-date. The high case numbers are likely to continue in the coming month due to the delta variant, putting increased strain on our hospitals and medical staff.

Vaccination is—and will continue to be—the best tool for preventing COVID-19. The County also aims to be proactive in response to this week’s news regarding Pfizer’s full FDA approval for those 16 years and older, as well as the Governor’s recent vaccination requirements for employees of certain sectors. Public Health’s goal is to continue to make vaccines easily accessible for all eligible individuals, particularly as families gear up for the new 2021/2022 school year.

“We understand that this decision to reopen the Fairgrounds site may seem like we are moving backwards to some, but this decision is a sign of our county’s strength and endurance. We are fortunate to be able to respond to rising cases and increasing demand for testing and vaccination by reopening the site. It shows that we can act quickly and effectively when action is needed.”

Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director

All Public Health testing and vaccine services (except for a select few outreach locations) will now move officially to the Fairgrounds beginning on August 30th. Mobile vaccine clinics this fall will be prioritized based on location, need, and risk, and most people needing low barrier vaccination will be directed to the Fairgrounds clinic or another Skagit provider. 

Those seeking testing or vaccination are asked to come to the South Gate Entrance of the Fairgrounds, located at 501 Taylor St, Mt Vernon, WA 98273. Both testing and vaccination will be operating as a drive-through clinic, though accommodations will be available to those who arrive on foot or who require assistance.

For Testing

Public Health will be using self-swab antigen testing at this location, with results available within 15 minutes. The site can serve anyone 5 years and older for testing. No insurance or appointment will be required. Please note that antigen testing is not intended for pre-travel. Those seeking testing for travel should find a location offering PCR testing.

A full list of testing providers can be found at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/TestingforCOVID19/TestingLocations

For Vaccination

All three currently authorized vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, will be available at the Fairground Vaccination site. Anyone 12 years and older can utilize this site to access a first or second dose of vaccine; no appointment required.

For certain immunocompromised individuals, Public Health will also make third doses of either Pfizer or Moderna available. Please speak with your doctor before seeking a third dose of vaccine. Third doses will not be available for the general public until a determination is made by the FDA, CDC, and Washington Department of Health. For anyone seeking a second or third dose, please bring your Vaccination Card with you when you come to the site.

For more information about the Skagit County fairgrounds testing and vaccination site, please go to our website at www.skagitcounty.net/coronavirus or call (360) 416-1500.


Third dose of COVID-19 vaccine now recommended for certain immunocompromised individuals

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August 16, 2021

The Washington Department of Health (DOH) released a statement on Saturday, August 14 providing guidance to health care providers regarding administration of third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to certain immunocompromised individuals. This statement follows recommendations made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP), and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

While authorized vaccines have proven to be more than 90% effective in protecting against most variants, emerging data suggest people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems do not always build the same level of immunity compared to people who are not immunocompromised. The third dose is not considered a booster, rather an additional dose for individuals who did not adequately develop immunities with the initial two-dose series.

People are asked to speak with their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time.

Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

A full list of conditions is available on the CDC’s website.

A person receiving a third dose should get it at least 28 days after their second dose. When possible, the individual should receive the same vaccine as the first two doses but may receive the other mRNA vaccine brand if the other vaccine is not available. 

There is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine. At this time, no additional dose is recommended for people who had the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. People who received J&J should not get a second dose of either J&J or a dose of an mRNA vaccine.

While a third dose of vaccine is likely to increase protection, people who are immunocompromised should continue to wear a mask, maintain 6 feet of social distancing, avoid crowds, and avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces. Close contacts of immunocompromised people are also strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to further increase protection for those at greater risk.

Skagit County Public Health will now make third doses available to immunocompromised individuals at pop-up vaccine clinics and at our weekly vaccine clinic on Wednesday evenings from 6-9pm at the County Administrative Building (700 S 2nd St, Mount Vernon, WA 98273). Please bring your Vaccination Card with you when seeking a second or third dose. For information about our clinics, go to www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine or call (360) 416-1500.

To find a full list of vaccine providers near you, go to: https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/. For assistance call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.