SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – In line with the FY15 budget adopted by the Board of Health, the Snohomish Health District is moving forward with plans to permanently close its immunization clinics by the end of June. This move follows the recent relocation of immunization clinic services to the Lynnwood site following water damage at the Everett location.
“Healthcare reform and increased access to insurance have dramatically changed the way people get many health care services, including immunizations,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer and director for the Snohomish Health District. “Snohomish County is fortunate to have a growing number of healthcare providers and pharmacies providing immunization services. Now that we have this added capacity, it’s the right time to transition our resources into other areas where we can have a greater impact on the community as a whole.”
The District currently serves less than 1 percent of the county’s population in the clinics, with the total number of visits declining in recent years. As a part of the transition, staff have begun notifying patients and community partners of the change in advance of the summer closure.
“This move does not mean the District believes immunizations are no longer essential,” stated Goldbaum. “Quite the contrary; immunizations are critical, but our role is to provide services for which public health is uniquely qualified. Rather than continuing to give shots, we want to focus our work out in the community.”
This transition will allow staff to better focus on programs and partnerships that allow the District to increase awareness oft the need for immunizations, in addition to other public health services that aren’t readily available in Snohomish County.
While the immunization clinics will be closing, other services will remain at the Everett location. The District will continue to provide HIV testing and STD referrals, communicable disease surveillance and monitoring, tuberculosis treatment, and support to providers who offer immunizations. The WIC, First Steps, and Refugee Health programs are also not impacted by this closure. Residents needing immunization records after June 30 will be able to request them through the Vital Records section. More detailed information can be found at www.snohd.org/Healthy-Living/Clinic-Services.
Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. To read more about the District and for important health information, visit www.snohd.org.