HERBOLD: Additional vaccine providers in West Seattle, vaccines for veterans; Mass vaccine site opens in West Seattle; More vaccine on the way
District 1 Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold shared this news via her newsletter to constituents
There were a lot of announcements about Covid vaccination this week. Here’s a rundown of the most important information for District 1 residents. As a reminder:
- WA COVID Vaccine Finder (covidwa.com) is a volunteer-run website that compilates vaccine providers and availability in one location. Multiple people have recommended this website as a good place to search for vaccine.
- The City of Seattle has a vaccine webpage and weekly vaccine newsletter at seattle.gov/vaccine.
Additional Vaccine Providers on the West Seattle Peninsula: This morning, I received a response to my inquiry to the state Department of Health as to why the state’s Vaccine Locator website shows only one approved vaccine provider on the West Seattle peninsula. The surprising answer is that the state website is incorrect. In fact, there are eleven approved vaccine providers on the peninsula – I've included the full list below. Some of these providers are only vaccinating their own patients (such as Swedish), and some have yet to receive a single dose of vaccine (such as Bartell’s). And lack of vaccine supply continues to the most important constraint on accessing vaccine. However, I think it’s important that you have all the information available about vaccine providers.
In addition, Sea Mar clinics in South Park and White Center continue to be an option for District 1 residents. Find more information here.
I will continue my advocacy with the state to correct their website and distribute additional vaccine to West Seattle.
All Veterans Eligible for Vaccine from VA: Veterans of any age enrolled in the VA system can schedule a vaccine appointment through the VA. Veterans are not bound by the tiered eligibility system established by the state Department of Health. The VA Puget Sound Health Care Systems websiteincludes this guidance:
All ages of Veterans are being actively scheduled now for the vaccine. No matter which VA care site you get your vaccine at, you must have an appointment. It is important to understand that we need to vaccinate the most vulnerable Veterans first, which means even though we are now able to offer all eligible Veterans the vaccines, if you are healthy and younger, you may be scheduled further out.
Eligible Veterans can call (206) 716-5716 to schedule, or contact your primary care team.
Mass Vaccine Site Launches in West Seattle: On Monday, the City announced the launch of two City-run mass vaccination sites, at SW Athletic Complex in West Seattle (2801 SW Thistle Street) and the Atlantic Boat Ramp in Rainier Beach. These sites are already up and running, and will continue to offer City-run, free Covid testing as well as vaccination. Between the two sites, the City initially expects to provide 2,000 doses per week, administered by Seattle Fire Department.
Initially, appointments for vaccine at these sites are only available through referral from community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and health care providers. They focus on vaccine-eligible people who are 65 and older who live in areas of West and South Seattle most impacted by COVID-19 cases. Due to limited supply, walk-ins cannot be accommodated.
The City currently receives about 2,500 vaccines per week. That number is expected to increase steadily, but in the next weeks, most people still will not be able to receive vaccine from the City. Eventually, when vaccine supply improves in the coming weeks and months, the City plans to administer 1,000 shots every day at the West Seattle site. I will continue to update you about this site via this newsletter, including when appointments become available to the vaccine-eligible general public. You can also subscribe to the City’s weekly vaccine newsletter here: www.seattle.gov/vaccine.
I appreciate that the chosen locations for these mass vaccine sites serve the goals of Council’s Resolution on Vaccine Equity. West Seattle, South Park, and Rainier Valley have the 2nd highest rate of Covid deaths in the County. Yet our seniors aged 75+ have fallen significantly behind those in other parts of the county in accessing vaccine. Only 53% have received a first dose, compared to 68% county-wide. This site should help District 1 residents catch up.
Mass Vaccine Site Announced for Lumen Field Event Center:
The City also announced that they will open a large mass vaccine site at Lumen Field in mid-March, in a partnership with Swedish Medical Center. With current vaccine supply, the Lumen vaccine site will initially administer approximately 5,000 first doses over two days a week. At peak operations, and vaccine supply permitting, the mass vaccination site could administer 21,000 vaccinations each day or 150,000 vaccinations every week to the entire region.
Initially, appointments will be prioritized for community-based organizations serving BIPOC communities, older adults, and immigrants and refugees, but vaccine-eligible members of the public will be able to register for a vaccination at this site. Registration methods and an opening date have not yet been announced.
City of Seattle Mobile Vaccine Efforts:
The City of Seattle is also continuing to partner with both Swedish and UW Medicine Mobile Vaccination Teams, which have the capacity to vaccinate hundreds of the most vulnerable and high-risk residents daily. The mobile teams are prioritizing elders in low-income housing across the City as well as community vaccination events in areas with low vaccination rates. The mobile teams meet communities where they’re at, lowering transportation and logistical barriers. Since launching its vaccination effort on January 14, the City of Seattle has:
- administered 10,054 vaccinations to eligible Seattleites
- provided 8,665 vulnerable Seattleites the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
- Provided 1,389 Seattleites the second dose of the vaccine
City vaccinations have occurred at:
- 86 Adult Family Homes
- 42 affordable housing buildings with seniors
- 8 pop-up clinics
- 3 community clinic pilots.
Teachers, School Staff, and Childcare Workers Now Eligible for Vaccine: You probably heard the Biden administration announce on Tuesday that teachers are now eligible to receive vaccine. Here are President Biden’s remarks during the announcement:
Over 30 states have already taken step to prior- –prioritize educators for vaccination. And today, I’m using the full authority of the federal government. I’m directing every state to do the same. My challenge to all states, territories, and the District of Columbia is this: We want every educator, school staff member, childcare worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March.
To help make this happen, starting next week and for a month — the month of March, we will be using our federal pharmacy program to prioritize the vaccination of pre-K through 12 educators and staff and child-care workers. Throughout March, they will be able to prioritize the vaccination of pre-K-through-12 educators and staff and childcare workers. Throughout March, they will be able to sign up for an appointment at a pharmacy near them.
The Washington State Department of Health, which is responsible for administering and directing the vaccination rollout here, released this statementin response:
DOH is working quickly to get clarity from the Biden Administration to ensure roll-out in our state will result in ample vaccine supply through various providers and equitable access for education and childcare workers. Vaccine supply will likely primarily be delivered through the federal pharmacy program, and the directive indicates all vaccine providers should prioritize these workers.
DOH remains committed to continued vaccination for older adults and others who are currently prioritized for vaccinations under the current plan. DOH also remains committed to vaccinating all Washingtonians as quickly and equitably as possible.
DOH acknowledges these announcements may cause a mix of excitement, concern, and confusion for different communities. The department will share more information in the days ahead as DOH learns more from our federal partners.
What does this mean for folks who are vaccine-eligible and still working on securing your first dose? That’s the big question, and we're still waiting for more clarity from both the federal and state governments. The state Department of Health has shared some additional advice via social media:
You can find information about the federal pharmacy partnership here; in Washington, it includes Albertsons, Costco, Health Mart, Rite Aid, Kroger, and Walmart. And of course, keep monitoring the news.
New Eligibility Timeline: On Thursday afternoon, Governor Inslee announced new tiers of vaccine eligibility and a projected timeline. Assuming that vaccine supply is sufficient, this short video shows the plan:
Roughly 70 percent of those vaccinated by the City identify as from BIPOC communities.
Vaccine Supply Gets a Significant Boost:
In that same statement, President Biden also announced a new vaccine production partnership that will result in sufficient vaccine supply to vaccinate every American adult by the end of May.
And today, we’re announcing a major step forward:… Johnson & Johnson and Merck will work together to expand the production of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. This is the type of collaboration between companies we saw in World War Two.
We also invoked the Defense Production Act to equip two Merck facilities to the standards necessary to safely manufacture the J&J vaccine. And with the urging and assistance of my administration, Johnson & Johnson is also taking additional new actions to safely accelerate vaccine production. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine manufacturing facilities will now begin to operate 24/7.
In addition, we’ll continue to use the Defense Production Act to expedite critical materials in vaccine production, such as equipment, machinery, and supplies. I’ve also asked the Department of Defense to provide daily logistical support to strengthen Johnson & Johnson’s efforts...
Here’s what all this means: We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May.
Again, details are still unclear about how quickly this increased supply will be felt locally, and how the federal government will distribute the extra vaccine doses. And it will likely take some time for those final doses to leave the manufacturing line and find their way into the arms of recipients – so vaccinations will likely continue well beyond May. However, this is an indication that increased vaccine supply is on its way, which will mean...
- All vaccine-eligible Seattle residents will be able to get vaccinated.
- The City will be able to open up mass vaccine site appointments to the vaccine-eligible general public.
- The State will be able to open up vaccination to more tiers of eligibility.