SUMMARY: See this health alert for:
- COVID-19 Vaccination Program Information
- Interim State COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan Update
- Increased Risk of COVID-19 from Smoking
COVID-19 Vaccination Program Information
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is currently developing an online tool for providers to enroll in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
- DOH expects to release the online forms in November 2020.
- You can start gathering information now to be prepared to complete the forms when they are released.
- This information is laid out in the Provider Agreement Package from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and includes two parts:
- COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement and
- COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Profile Form.
- Both these forms can be found on the DOH website.
- Do NOT mail or fax the form to DOH. The Health District will issue notification when the online form becomes available.
- Your participation in vaccinating Snohomish County residents will help speed our efforts to bring the COVID-19 emergency to an end. Please join in the effort if feasible.
- For questions regarding vaccine provider enrollment, please contact Kelly Barrows: firstname.lastname@example.org, 425-339-8625.
Contributed by Samara Heydon, Emergency Management Specialist; Susan Babcock, Public Health Nurse, Vaccine Preventable Disease Program; and Kelly Barrows, Childhood Vaccine Program Compliance Coordinator, Snohomish Health District.
Interim State COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan Update
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has shared its interim vaccine distribution plan online and DOH is seeking feedback to help understand the best ways to equitably distribute the vaccine as the department moves forward.
Focus groups and key informant interviews are underway for priority groups, and DOH is offering general feedback opportunities. Washington residents can find the plan and submit feedback on the DOH COVID-19 vaccine webpage.
Much like development and distribution of COVID-19 tests, it will take time to build the infrastructure and manufacturing capacity to produce and distribute vaccines in large quantities. Even after one or more vaccines have been deemed to be safe and effective, it may take a while before they are readily available. When that time comes, we will work to ensure that they are allocated in a safe and equitable manner here in Snohomish County. The currently estimated timeframe for vaccination opportunities to reach the general public is approximately mid-2021.
Contributed by Heather Thomas, Public & Government Affairs Manager, Snohomish Health District
Increased Risk of COVID-19 from Smoking
- Ask all patients/clients about their tobacco use, including teens.
- Encourage users of tobacco products to quit, including occasional users.
- Refer to tobacco treatment programs, substance abuse programs, and available counselors as appropriate.
- Smoking tobacco is a known risk factor for many diseases and severe complications from those diseases, including respiratory diseases.
- Multiple studies are underway to determine the effects of smoking and COVID-19.
- The World Health Organization has published a scientific brief looking at the existing studies available as of June 2020 and found that smoking status was related to severity of COVID-19 outcomes among patients.
- The University of California San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education found in a recent meta-analysis that smoking was associated with a doubling of odds of disease progression for individuals who had already developed COVID. A blog addressing the publication is also posted for lay audiences.
- A recent study also found that youth (ages 13-24) were five times more likely to receive a COVID-19 diagnosis if they had ever used e-cigarettes or vapor devices, seven times more likely if they were dual users, and 6.8 times more likely if they were dual users within the past 30 days.
- Smoking & vaping have strong effects on immunity:
- Evidence exists demonstrating delayed recovery from respiratory infections among e-cigarette users.
- Meta-analyses have demonstrated a relationship between smoking and influenza which found that smokers are more likely to be hospitalized and admitted to the ICU.
Tobacco Treatment Resources
- Counseling through the Washington State Tobacco Quitline – all Washington state residents are eligible for some counseling: https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Tobacco/HowtoQuit/Counseling
- This is Quitting – a text message program designed by the Truth Initiative aimed at teens: https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Tobacco/HowtoQuit/Selfhelpmaterials/ThisisQuitting
- 2morrow Health – a vaping app for teens, and a Smoking & Health app for adults, free for Washington state residents: https://2morrowhealth.net/WADOHVape?utm_source=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.doh.wa.gov%2Fyouandyourfamily%2Ftobacco%2Fhowtoquit&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=TV21&utm_term=Sign%20up%20(age%2013%2B
- Snohomish Health District. Smoke-Free Living. http://www.snohd.org/240/Smoke-Free-Living
- Washington State Department of Health. How to Quit. https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Tobacco/HowtoQuit
Contributed by Jennifer Reid, Healthy Communities Specialist, Snohomish Health District
Chris Spitters, MD
Snohomish Health District