Seattle’s home for the Seahawks and Sounders is set to become the city’s first mass community vaccination site with hopes to begin service by mid-March. Meanwhile, Seattle started the new month opening its first two city-run fixed-place clinics in West Seattle and Rainier Beach.
The efforts come on the one-year anniversary of the start of the pandemic. The first CHS headlines on the spread of the virus around Seattle came this week in 2020. More than 500,000 in the United States have died. CHS looked at the deadly COVID-19 numbers in Seattle and King County here.
The pandemic has slowed to rates last seen in early fall and officials say there is progress reaching vulnerable communities in the first phase of the state’s vaccination plan. The massive challenge of the Washington’s “future phases” that will include a wider swath of the state’s population comes next. The goal is for Seattle to reach a 70% vaccination level for its population that officials say will allow the area to successfully emerge from the crisis.
Six mass vaccination sites across Seattle with the ability to conduct at least 1,000 vaccinations per day in West Seattle, South Seattle, and North Seattle, two more larger sites able conduct at least 2,000 vaccinations per day in North Seattle and downtown, and a sixth mega site with capabilities for 10,000 vaccinations per day are needed to hit that goal.
The location for Seattle’s “mega” site has now been determined.
The city hopes the mass vaccination site at the Lumen Field Event Center will scale to administer 21,000 vaccinations a day and serve the wider region — if vaccination supplies can keep up:
At the Mayor’s direction and through work led by the department of Finance and Administrative Services, the City of Seattle and First & Goal Inc. signed a contract to permit the City of Seattle and Swedish to operate a mass vaccination site at the Lumen Field Event Center.
With current supply, the city says the mass vaccination site would start at at levels where it could administer approximately 5,000 first doses across two days a week.
The city and Swedish Hospital will partner to operate the facility. “Appointments will be prioritized for community-based organizations serving BIPOC communities, older adults, and immigrants and refugees, but DOH-eligible members of the public will be able to register for a vaccination at this site,” the city says.
Meanwhile, the first mass sites are ready to serve patients in West Seattle and Rainier Beach:
Beginning Monday, March 1, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) will operate two new permanent Community Testing and Vaccination Clinics. The clinics are located at the current COVID-19 testing facilities in Rainier Beach and West Seattle. With initial doses, each site will administer approximately 1,000 first doses each week, operating multiple days per week. At full capacity, each SFD site could administer 1,000 first doses each day.
But officials say the limited supply will slow the progress.
Because of the limited supply of vaccine, registration for the first vaccination clinics are restricted to “referral-only registrations, with no public registration option available” and walk-ins are not allowed.
“Vaccination rates of people 65 and older in West Seattle and Rainier Beach continue to lag behind the rest of King County,” the city says. “Less than half of people ages 65 or older have been vaccinated in these ZIP codes. The disparities are especially pronounced for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.”
The city is also partnering with Swedish and UW Medicine to continue Mobile Vaccination Teams, “which have the capacity to vaccinate hundreds of the most vulnerable and high-risk residents across King County each day.”
The teams are prioritizing “elders in low-income housing across the City as well as community vaccination events in areas with low vaccination rates.”
The state reports a current 7-day average of just under 27,000 people a day receiving vaccinations here — still well short of the goal set by the department of health of 45,000 per day. In total, Washington has administered just over 1.5 million doses.
Around 13% of the state’s population has begun the vaccination process with around half of those considered fully vaccinated, according to the state’s DOH dashboard.
You can learn more at seattle.gov/vaccine.
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