Vaccination efforts are hitting another milestone this week as mobile clinics are completed at long-term care facilities and adult family homes in Snohomish County
By Snohomish Health District | Press Release
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – A fifth mass vaccination site for the county opened Friday at Angel Of The Winds Arena in Everett.
It is the second walk-up site coordinated by the Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce. The taskforce brings together public health, emergency management, law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, human services, transit, public works, and other partners within Snohomish County.
The other four sites remain in place at the Boeing Everett Activity Center, Arlington Municipal Airport, Edmonds College, and Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. The two Everett sites are walk-up locations, while the other three are drive-thru. Exact days and hours of operation for the sites vary based on vaccine availability.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is being administered at Angel Of The Winds Arena by clinical staff coordinated through the Snohomish Health District. This represents the first use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the taskforce. It is the third vaccine to receive authorization in the U.S., and the first single-dose vaccine.
Information on which vaccine (Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer) is being administered at each mass vaccination site is provided at http://bit.ly/snocovaccine, along with appointment registration links.
In general, the best vaccine is the one you are able to get. All of the vaccines that have been authorized are shown to be safe and effective in multiple rounds of clinical trials, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention encourages people to get the first vaccine available to them. While people may have a preference on which vaccine they would like to get, it is best not to wait if another vaccine brand is available sooner, unless they have talked to their doctor and there is a medical reason to avoid a certain brand of vaccine.
All mass vaccination sites run by the taskforce are by appointment only for those eligible in the current phase. Those with limited or no internet access, or who need language support, can call the COVID-19 call center at 425-339-5278 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
A new registration system is in use for the Angel Of The Winds Arena appointments, and will soon replace the Sign Up Genius system for the Arlington and Monroe locations, as well. The system is called PrepMod, and it is already used by the Washington State Department of Health and several other counties. PrepMod is expected to streamline record keeping for the mass vaccination sites as well as improve the user experience for registration.
Keep in mind that the number and timing of appointments are based on vaccine availability, and the demand for vaccine continues to exceed the supply. It may take time to get an appointment.
VACCINATION PROGRESS UPDATE
More than 106,000 people had received their first dose of COVID vaccine in Snohomish County, as of February 27. Another 53,557 have been fully vaccinated (both doses of two-dose vaccines). Vaccination data for Snohomish County is updated weekly on Thursdays at www.snohd.org/covidvaccine.
To date, more than 80,000 vaccines have been administered at the mass vaccination sites in Snohomish County.
Along with mass vaccination sites, the taskforce also has been assisting with efforts to vaccinate particularly vulnerable or underserved communities. This includes mobile clinics at long-term care facilities. Residents and staff are being vaccinated through a combination of the federal pharmacy partnership, the vaccine taskforce’s mobile EMS teams, private healthcare providers, and mass vaccination sites. Long-term care encompasses skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and adult family homes.
In Snohomish County, all 18 skilled nursing facilities and 46 assisted living facilities have had on-site vaccine clinics. There are 615 adult family homes in Snohomish County. The last of the first dose clinics for these adult family homes finished this week, and second dose clinics are underway or have been completed at previously vaccinated long-term care facilities.
The taskforce also partnered with Homage on a vaccine clinic Thursday, March 4, for vulnerable older adults, with 100 doses administered. Another partnership focused on improving equitable vaccine access is with Providence Institute for a Healthier Community, which has been hosting clinics for members of marginalized communities with barriers to accessing vaccine. The vaccine taskforce helped secure doses for those initial clinics.
More information on vaccination efforts was shared during a virtual media availability Friday morning by Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters, Department of Emergency Management Director Jason Biermann and Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin. The briefing is available for viewing at https://youtu.be/EYYE0Aykdiw.
A virtual town hall on vaccination in Snohomish County also was hosted by Snohomish County Council Chair Stephanie Wright and Vice Chair Megan Dunn earlier this week. That video is available for viewing at https://youtu.be/X1K_GBFEpwE.
EXPANDED VACCINE ELIGIBILITY AND ACCESS
President Biden announced efforts to provide all K-12 workforce and child care providers with one dose of vaccine by the end of March. This was followed by a directive issued by Health and Human Services (HHS). In response, Governor Inslee expanded Phase 1b1 to include teachers and child care workers effective immediately.
Vaccine supply for teachers and child care workers will come in part from the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, but all enrolled providers are directed to vaccinate these workers, as well. The current participating pharmacies in Washington are Safeway/Albertsons, Costco, Rite Aid, Health Mart Independent Pharmacies, Kroger (Fred Meyer and QFC), and Walmart.
Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) previously announced a partnership with Kaiser Permanente on a large-scale school vaccination plan to equitably and safely vaccinate Washington educators and school staff. More information is now available on their website:
- How-to for school employees who are Kaiser Permanente members
- How-to for school employees who are not Kaiser Permanente members
- FAQ: “Get Ready” COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for School Employees
The VA’s Puget Sound Health Care System also announced this week that they are now vaccinating veterans of all ages. Eligible veterans can call 206-716-5716 to schedule, or contact their primary care team within the VA.
These resources are in addition to other vaccine providers in the area, including the mass vaccination sites. For more information on vaccine locations in Snohomish County and surrounding areas, visit www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Immunization/VaccineLocations.
Governor Inslee also announced modifications to Phases 1b2-1b4, as well as timelines to begin each group. While tentative and subject to change based on vaccine supply and demand, they are as follows:
- Phase 1b2 will become eligible on March 22. This group includes all critical workers in certain congregate settings, people age 16 or older who are pregnant, and those 16 or older who have a disability that puts them at higher risk.
- Phase 1b3 will open April 12 for those age 50 or older with two or more comorbidities, and April 26 for 16 or older with two or more comorbidities.
- Phase 1b4 will start April 26 for people who live in congregate housing, as well staff and volunteers who work in congregate settings not covered in Phase 1b2.
Snohomish County residents are encouraged to visit the Phase Finder tool at findyourphasewa.org prior to making an appointment for vaccination. The Phase Finder tool is designed to help people in Washington find out if they are eligible for a COVID vaccine now or if not, sign up to be notified when they become eligible.
It’s important to note that where people currently land in the prioritization and phases is not a reflection on their value in this community. If we had unlimited vaccine supply and clinical capacity to administer the vaccine, prioritization would not be necessary. But neither of those are the case.
This is why, until vaccines start flowing into Washington and Snohomish County at a higher and more predictable pace, there is a need to prioritize the limited capacity not necessarily toward those at higher risk of acquiring COVID, but rather for those most likely to become severely ill, require hospitalization, and/or die if they get infected.
Even after being vaccinated, people should wear a mask in shared spaces, avoid large gatherings, stay home if they feel ill, wash their hands, and clean and sanitize surfaces. It is important to keep up with preventive measures while work continues to vaccinate more people.
REVISED COVID TESTING SCHEDULE
The Health District has been monitoring patient volumes and positivity rates at the community-based testing sites, and will be consolidating testing sites effective March 8. The 3900 Broadway site in Everett will no longer operate seven days a week, and the Sultan Elementary site that had been operating on Fridays will close. These moves allow staff and other resources to be reallocated to support vaccine site operations.
The schedule beginning March 8 is as follows:
- 3900 Broadway site in Everett – Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Lynnwood Food Bank site at 5320 176th St SW – open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Evergreen State Fairgrounds in the front parking lot off of 179th Ave SE in Monroe – open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Appointments for testing are encouraged, and registration is available at www.snohd.org/testing. Those without internet access or needing language assistance can reach the Health District’s call center at 425.339.5278. The call center is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Callers after hours or on weekends can leave a message, which will be returned on the next business day.