Vaccine hesitancy 11% in Snohomish County
Drop-ins, expanded hours and free rides offered to remove obstacles
Last updated 5/14/2021 at 10:45am
The vaccination effort in Snohomish County and the state is going well, with estimates suggesting the goal for health officials could be reached by mid-August. Appointments are going unfilled at some mass vaccination sites, and health officials are pondering why, and removing obstacles to what may be the reason some have not scheduled.
Vaccine hesitancy has been stated as anecdotal evidence of why some appointments are now going unfilled for COVID-19 vaccines. But that sentiment may not be widely felt. In Snohomish County, only 11% were polled as vaccine-hesitant and just over 5% were strongly hesitant, according to a poll by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: https://bit.ly/3w06SRB.
All three vaccines are described as safe and effective, by the consensus of health officials including Dr. Chris Spitters, health officer for the Snohomish Health District. The CDC recommends vaccines for all who are eligible, and the FDA approved eligibility for those as young as 12 years old, for Pfizer, on May 10. Pfizer is one of two mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 prevention.
Plenty of vaccine is coming our way in Washington state, so appointments are likely to be available for those who wish to be vaccinated. The Department of Health's three-week allocation forecast from the federal government shows Washington will receive nearly 400,000 doses of vaccine each week this month. Snohomish County's Joint Information Commission said this week that appointments are available at mass vaccination sites.
Schedule directly with a health care provider or pharmacy, or through the DOH Prep Mod site, selecting a mass vaccination location near you: https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/appointment/en/clinic/search.
The health district recommends that people schedule in advance, but the Snohomish County Vaccination Task Force has opened up its mass vaccination sites to onsite registration, for walk-ins.
Everyone older than 16 is now eligible. FDA has cleared kids as young as 12. To get vaccinated, people under the age of 18 require a parent or guardian and all need to bring identification, but onsite registration is an option for those getting vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Snohomish County. Near Mill Creek, the Pfizer vaccine is available at the Ash Way Park & Ride site, at 16327 Ash Way in Lynnwood.
Need a ride?
Community Transit has partnered with the county. Here is how to get to the Ash Way site by bus: https://www.communitytransit.org/ashwayvax. The DOH has partnered with various transportation companies. Call this hotline to coordinate a free ride from Uber, Lyft or other transportation agencies: 833-VAX-HELP.
Can't get time off?
Employers are not required to allow an employee time off, once they have secured a vaccination appointment, Spitters said.
"It's probably going to vary by employment site," he said.
Variables could include employee status, details of a labor relations agreement, and whether they have sick leave available. The JIC's vaccine task force has opened up evening and weekend hours, to provide time for people to get vaccinated when they are off work. For those with questions on scheduling a vaccine and no internet access, call 425-339-5278.