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By Jana Hill
Mill Creek Beacon Editor 

COVID-19 vaccination continues to advance (March 12 update)

Eligibility opens up for new groups as supplies increase

 

Last updated 3/22/2021 at 4:28pm

Photo courtesy of Snohomish Health District

A new phase has opened up for vaccine eligibility. All three emergency-use options are showing promise to prevent hospitalization and death for those who become severely ill from COVID-19.

Editor's note: This story was updated on March 12 at 7:45 a.m. Vaccine eligibility will open further as supplies increase. A vaccine finder is available through the CDC: https://vaccinefinder.org

More people are now eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19, but challenges still exist: one is the task of finding an appointment.

City of Mill Creek Councilmember John Steckler asked the Snohomish Health District recently if a web crawler was available to locate available appointments.

“So it’s still hunt-and-peck?” he asked, referring to the process of locating an appointment online, finding out if one is available, and repeating that action.

That tool was not yet available, as of March 11, per an inquiry to the health district. New methods for coordinating vaccinations are in the works, health officials say. The Snohomish Health District lists that it is currently vaccinating Phases 1A and 1B as of the afternoon of March 12. When new phases are eligible in Snohomish County it will be listed here: https://bit.ly/3eBaFz4.

Included as of March 12 are all people over the age of 65, health care workers, people living in group settings, childcare workers, teachers and employees in K-12 education settings.

In Snohomish County, the following are tentatively cleared to acces vaccines starting March 22: critical workers in congregate settings, people who are 16 and over and are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Tentative by April 26 are people 16 and older with two or more “co-morbidities,” meaning illnesses or medical conditions. President of the United States Joe Biden stated that all adults will be made eligible for vaccines by May 1, with a goal of being back to "normal" by July 4.

As new groups become eligible, past groups can still schedule if they have not already been vaccinated.

The process is simple for getting a vaccination:

1) Determine your phase. It is required that you are eligible when scheduling an appointment.

2) Make an appointment where vaccines are available: health care providers, pharmacies and mass vaccination clinics are options.

3) Find an appointment: if you already know a location that will schedule you, contact and schedule. Vaccines are available in all usual locations for other types of vaccinations, such as health care facilities and pharmacies. They are also available at mass vaccination sites.

4) Locations: Mass vaccination sites are located on the Snohomish County Health District website. Some pharmacies are offering vaccination appointments. Or, if you are aware your doctor will offer you a vaccine, schedule with your doctor's office.

Health officials recommend vaccination as it is showing to be safe and effective, as data continue to grow.

All three emergency use vaccines are showing promise for ending the pandemic by protecting against hospitalization and death, once full immunity is reached. Pfizer and Moderna require two doses, meaning two appointments. J&J requires one dose, and officials in Snohomish County are in the process of getting access to that third option. As supplies increase, more phases will open.

Challenges to vaccination for officials circle around supply. Challenges for residents obtaining the vaccine circle around finding an available appointment.

Still struggling?

For Snohomish County Health District, coronavirus information is here: https://bit.ly/3rkmvBp, and information from the district on vaccines including local distribution call 425-339-5278 or email [email protected]

 

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