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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 29, 2021
CONTACT:Snohomish County Joint Information Center425firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – A fourth mass vaccination site has opened, just three weeks after the first drive-thru site in the county began operating.
Vaccination at the Arlington Municipal Airport began Friday. That site is expected to continue operating as long as doses are available. While exact capacity at the site will vary, hundreds of vaccines can be administered there per day. Appointments for the weekend at the Arlington site are expected to open for registration soon.
Like the other Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce sites, the Arlington location is by appointment for those who live and work in Snohomish County, and is for those who are eligible in the current phase.
Appointments at all of the sites have been booking rapidly. There is still much higher demand for COVID vaccine than doses available.
“Working with our partners from around the county, we are committed to making sure everybody who wants the COVID vaccine has that opportunity,” Snohomish County Emergency Management Director Jason Biermann said. “Our team’s goal is to safely and equitably deliver vaccine doses as rapidly as possible. We ultimately expect to support enough drive-thru and walk-in mass vaccination sites that 50,000 doses can be delivered to residents each week, depending on vaccine supply.”
Information on who is currently eligible, as well as links to register for appointments at the drive-thru sites, are available at bit.ly/SnoCoHub under the “COVID-19 Vaccine” button. Those with limited or no internet access, or who need language support, can call the COVID-19 call center at 425-339-5278.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine is administered at the Arlington site by EMS staff from the Snohomish County Fire Taskforce. The other drive-thru sites – Paine Field in Everett, Edmonds College, and the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe – are currently administering the Moderna vaccine.
Information on which vaccine is being administered at each site is now noted on the website with the registration links, and patients will be provided a vaccination card at their appointment with information on which brand of vaccine they received and the target date for their second dose. Patients should save their card, and it’s a good idea to take photo on their phone in case the card is lost or damaged.
According to CDC guidelines, individuals should receive two doses of the Moderna vaccine at least 28 days apart. The Pfizer vaccine should be two doses at least 21 days apart. The second dose should be as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, if that is not feasible, the second dose may be up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first. Even if the second dose is delayed somewhat beyond these recommended intervals, there is no need to restart the series and both doses count.
The first Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce drive-thru site opened Jan. 6, and since then more than 15,000 vaccinations have been administered at the sites.
“It is great that so many people are wanting to get vaccinated, and we appreciate the leadership of the Department of Emergency Management and other partners across Snohomish County coming together to make that possible,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for the Snohomish Health District. “As we’ve shared, it will likely take a couple of months to work through Phase 1b1. We’re only a week or so in, but things are starting to pick up speed.”
The taskforce is one piece of an extensive effort to vaccinate people, and the mass vaccination sites are to supplement the existing healthcare system. Countywide, more than 48,000 vaccines have been administered. That number includes both first and second doses as of January 23. Vaccine numbers are updated weekly on Tuesdays at www.snohd.org/covidvaccine.
Additional mass vaccination sites are under development. Exact dates and hours of operation may vary. The limiting factor at this time is vaccine supply.
“When we receive an increased vaccine supply, we can continue to stand up mass vaccination sites, like the Arlington Airport site, to ensure we have the capacity to get everyone vaccinated,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “As the federal and state governments fix the vaccine supply problems, we have the ability to expand access quickly without further delays. The lack of vaccine supply is frustrating for all of us, and we will continue to advocate for more vaccines coming into the county to get everyone vaccinated.”
Even after being vaccinated, people should continue to 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.
“We are happy to partner with the Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce to bring this resource to our community,” Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert said. “As we all want to return to a life more normal for us, getting our community vaccinated is the first real step to crushing this pandemic.”
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.
A note on media access: The Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce is not facilitating media access at any of the mass vaccination sites at this time. If you go out to capture images or video near a site, please be aware that you will not be allowed onto the vaccination site itself. Access is for staff and patients only. While the drive-thru vaccination sites may look different from a clinic or pharmacy, these are still medical appointments. Our priority is ensuring safe and efficient vaccination for the people of Snohomish County, as well as patients’ privacy. If you take video or photographs from a public right-of-way, please avoid capturing patients’ faces or license plates. Thank you.