Seattle – As the Omicron wave crests and over 90% of Seattle residents have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, today Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the City will pivot to a mobile, partner-led strategy to better reach unvaccinated families, as City vaccine clinics close over the next month.
“Seattle and the country are entering the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are responding by re-focusing resources on communities most at risk of being left behind. Vaccines and boosters remain critical to limit the spread and severity of this virus which continues to be deadly to our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “City vaccine clinics and hubs have been an incredible success – taking Seattle 90 yards down the field to become one of the most vaccinated cities in the country. But the data is clear from open appointment slots they are no longer the right tool for the moment, and a more targeted strategy is needed to reach the endzone.”
The City’s Rainier Beach and West Seattle clinics will continue to provide Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, pediatric vaccines, and boosters through the end of February 2022. The West Seattle clinic’s last day will be Saturday February 26th, with hours on Fridays from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Rainier Beach’s last day will be Thursday March 3rd with hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Both sites currently have availability, and appointments are not required to get a vaccine.
“I want to thank our many health care and community partners who have been instrumental to Seattle’s remarkable success over the past two years. This effort has truly exemplified our vision for One Seattle where neighbors step up to support each other and our community,” said Mayor Harrell. “There are too many organizations to thank them all in one place, but I do want to give special acknowledgement to our partners at Lumen Field, Amazon, Swedish, Virginia Mason, the Center for Multicultural health, Dunia Clinic, SouthEast Seattle Senior Center, Neighborhood House, Mary Mahoney Nurses, and Joycelyn Thomas LLC whose actions and support have undoubtedly saved lives during this pandemic.”
The City of Seattle has administered nearly 333,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with over 50% of vaccines administered by City sites and teams going to residents of color. But disparities in vaccination rates between white residents and residents of color continue to be a public health equity challenge and are even more pronounced among children ages 5-11. Therefore, the City, using the Seattle Fire Department and Othello Pharmacy providers, will partner with trusted community organizations, such as Seattle Housing Authority, to focus outreach to unvaccinated communities and bring vaccination opportunities to where people reside or convene regularly.
Across Seattle the daily average of positive cases has been steadily decreasing with currently around 364 average positive cases per day or 2,551 cases in the last 7 days – a 41% decrease compared to the 7 days prior. Additionally, hospitalizations in the Seattle area have decreased 38% this week compared to last.
“We are committed to making Seattle the healthiest City in the country – to do so, we must make real progress advancing health equity. We cannot rest while the burden of this pandemic falls disproportionately on historically underserved residents,” said Mayor Harrell. “Our new approach will leverage trusted community organizations and partners to better reach those most in need and ensure that everyone has access to live-saving vaccines and boosters.”
In Seattle, over 90% of residents ages five and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine through their healthcare provider, government and community partners, or a City of Seattle clinic. Over 65% of residents twelve and older who completed their initial vaccination have also received a booster dose. Over 1.3 million tests have been administered at City of Seattle, University of Washington, and Curative sites since their launch in 2020 and approximately 60% of all Seattle residents have used the test sites at least once.
Testing sites include fixed locations with UW Medicine in Aurora, SODO, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle, as well as seven Curative kiosks placed throughout the city. Appointments are encouraged at all locations and sites. For more information about any of the sites, including UW Medicine, please visit: www.seattle.gov/covid-19-testing.
For more information, visit the City’s vaccination website at seattle.gov/vaccine. The site contains vaccination information in seven languages, and in-language assistance is also available over the phone. Even as more residents get vaccinated, public health measures like social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing hands remain critical. Please continue to follow all public health guidance, and visit this website from Public Health – Seattle & King County for more information.