All Snohomish County residents could be vaccinated by August

The chief health officer’s estimate assumes the county can get 47,000 doses per week in coming months.

EVERETT — All Snohomish County residents 16 and older could be vaccinated by August, Snohomish Health District health officer Dr. Chris Spitters said Tuesday.

That’s if the county gets its estimated 47,000 doses per week in coming months.

Countywide, more than 108,000 people have been fully vaccinated, state data show. And another 67,000 are waiting for a second dose.

“We continue to make progress, with promise of further progress in the future,” Spitters said during a Tuesday media briefing.

This week, 36,000 to 41,000 doses are headed for Snohomish County — 26,000 for mass vaccination sites and medical providers, and 10,000 to 15,000 for local pharmacies.

As of Tuesday, hundreds of appointments were available in Snohomish County via the state’s site.

On March 31, 2 million additional Washingtonians will be eligible for shots, including restaurant workers and everyone 60 and older.

And Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to open eligibility to anyone 16 and older no later than May 1, following an order from President Joe Biden.

As many Washingtonians await their shots, misinformation is spreading about last-second, use-it-or-lose-it vaccine appointments for ineligible folks.

Each week, the health district sends a private link for second-dose vaccine appointments to those who are eligible and got their first shot at the Arlington Municipal Airport site.

On Tuesday, the health district learned that the link was being shared under the false notion that the appointments were open to everyone because they needed to use the doses before they expired.

If you signed up for a first-shot appointment in Arlington this week, there’s still time to cancel it, the health district said in a statement. If you arrive anyway, you’ll be turned away.

Meanwhile, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the county has plateaued, at best, Spitters said.

The two-week rolling case rate saw a small increase this week, up from 70 new infections per 100,000 people last week, to 72 per 100,000.

The plateau mirrors what’s happening in King County.

It also comes as the state enters Phase 3 of Gov. Inslee’s reopening plan, which on Monday boosted indoor business activity to 50% capacity.

“That means we need everyone, vaccinated or not, to keep up with the prevention measures,” Spitters said. “I know people are tired of COVID … It’s been a long haul, but we’re not there yet.”

One new source of transmission is youth sports, he said, despite coaches, players and spectators following safety protocols during competition.

“It’s often that the breakdown in prevention is happening amongst teammates off the field or court,” Spitters said. “For example, in locker rooms, on the bus or in a carpool to and from games, congregating and talking without masks in the parking lot, breaking for snacks and water, and social get-togethers outside of the sporting event itself with teammates. Those are all areas you’ve got to keep up your guard.”

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

This story has been updated to correct the number of Snohomish County residents awaiting a second vaccine dose.

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