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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMay 7, 2021
CONTACT:Heather Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – It’s easier than ever to find a COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 45,000 people who live, work and play in Snohomish County took the opportunity to get vaccinated last week. Data through May 4 shows that more than 600,000 vaccines have been administered since December.
The increased supplies and loosening requirements have helped in recent weeks. Snohomish County now has 38% of its residents 16 and up fully vaccinated. When adding in the other 108,000 residents who have received their first dose and are waiting for the second, the total climbs to 54 percent of eligible residents having received a vaccine.
This is welcome news as Governor Inslee announced a two-week pause on the Roadmap to Recovery. While case rates and hospitalization rates continue to exceed the metrics set for Phase 3, this pause will allow time for more residents to get vaccinated with the goal of driving down transmission. These are both critical tasks that require everyone to mask up and vax up to prevent Snohomish County from moving back to Phase 2 when the next data review happens.
The Health District also released its monthly update of vaccine demographic data on Tuesday. Data through April 18 shows that 70% of adults over 65 years of age have initiated vaccine. That high coverage is why this current wave has resulted in lower numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, particularly among that age group.
Pop. for Age
% Fully vaccinated
% Initiating vaccine
15 to 19
20 to 34
35 to 49
50 to 64
Compare this to the vaccination coverage among those 20-49 years of age and the larger number of cases for those groups during a similar period of time.
Even so, lower risk is not zero risk. The goal is not only to prevent bad outcomes, including long-term health impacts, but also to interrupt the sustained transmission being seen locally. In order to achieve that, everyone needs to be on board. Even those at lower risk.
Most transmission is occurring among younger adults. More people in those age ranges will need to be vaccinated to get Snohomish County through this pandemic. Many young adults may feel less motivation or urgency to get the vaccine because of their lower risk of hospitalization and death.
There may be a two week pause to stay in Phase 3, but it’s not a pause on vaccinations. The goal is to get 100,000 more vaccines in residents’ arms during these two weeks. Everyone is encouraged to step up, take their shot and help move Snohomish County forward.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could be authorized for kids as young as 12 as early as next week. The company applied to expand Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its vaccine for teens and children ages 12 to 15 after a clinical trial showed the vaccine is safe and extremely effective for the age group. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing the data and would need to amend the EUA for the Pfizer vaccine, which is currently authorized for people 16 and older. The Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP) is scheduled to meet on Wednesday. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup will also meet to review the findings and offer guidance.
Expanding vaccine eligibility to adolescents 12 to 15 will help us slow the spread of the virus, protect kids and teens in the classroom, at sporting events, during summer activities, and more.
The schedule for the week of May 10 remains as follows:
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 to schedule a testing appointment. 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.