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King County to expand COVID-19 vaccination efforts

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King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a $7 million allocation toward creating high volume COVID-19 vaccination sites as well as mobile vaccination units.

Public Health officials in Seattle and King County estimate that it will be necessary to vaccinate at least 70 percent of all adults, or approximately 1.26 million people, to effectively control the virus and its spread.

“To get this pandemic under control, 16,000 adults must be vaccinated every day for six months,” said Constantine. “That’s why we need everyone behind this effort.”

Constantine said the county is moving to roll out the vaccination efforts despite a solid vaccine supply chain or federal funding due to the time sensitive nature of the pandemic. He said he expects the county to be reimbursed by either the state or federal government.

King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski emphasized the need to make the countywide vaccination process equitable, efficient and accessible. He explained that the goal was for people to not require appointments or documentation.

Dembowski encouraged cooperation and support for this vaccination effort from the private sector, explaining that vaccine infrastructure in the county has “increasingly relied” on private partners.

Patty Hayes, director of Public Health for Seattle and King County, said uninsured residents should be able to get the vaccine for free.

She said there will first be two high volume vaccination sites in South King County where the need for the vaccine is the greatest. It is currently unclear exactly where those sites will be and when they will be there, she said.

Hayes said the county is waiting on the expanded supply of the vaccine before ramping up efforts to vaccinate the population.

“We see that light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

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Cameron Sheppard

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Cameron Sheppard