The county’s vaccine supply is growing, but more is needed

A new appointment system for county sites, which includes a waitlist for shots, is set to debut this week.

EVERETT — This week, 21,000 vaccine doses are coming to Snohomish County: 9,500 for first shots and 11,500 for second ones.

That’s up from a few thousand per week in early January.

Meanwhile, about half of the county’s 86,000 total shots administered occurred during the past two weeks.

But for many, the past month has meant hours each day on hold or refreshing web pages for multiple vaccine providers, hoping to be one of the few hundred to secure an appointment.

“I know it’s really frustrating for people who qualify and haven’t been able to get an appointment,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said at a Tuesday media briefing. “As soon as we get a bigger supply and one that is dependable from week to week, we should be able to move through this phase quickly.”

It’s unclear how much of this week’s supply is going to the county’s three drive-thru vaccine sites in Lynnwood, Monroe and Arlington, or the recently opened Boeing Activity Center clinic in Everett.

As of Tuesday, none of them were taking new appointments, citing low supply.

However, the county this week is to debut a new scheduling system that includes a limited waiting list for future appointments.

For more information, or to try and schedule a shot, visit snohd.org/564/COVID-Vaccine-Info or call 425-339-5278, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The call center should only be used by seniors or other residents lacking internet access or tech savvy, Snohomish Health District health officer Dr. Chris Spitters said.

The county also has plans for additional drive-thru sites, as well as pop-up vaccine clinics to reach communities that are either highly vulnerable to COVID-19 or are disadvantaged in getting access to the vaccine.

Those plans depend on more doses, Somers said.

“We continue to make the case every week to the state that we need more vaccine,” he said. “Any increase is welcome. But frankly, I won’t be happy until we have all our mass vaccination sites up and running and fully booked.”

Meanwhile, the county continues to see a decline in COVID activity.

On Monday, the 14-day rolling case rate fell for the third straight week.

And hospitalizations and deaths from the virus have dropped dramatically since peaking in December.

“It’s easy to feel like we’re on the other side of this, and in many ways we are, with decreasing numbers and more vaccines arriving daily, but we cannot let up,” Spitters said. “Now is not the time for complacency. Now is the time for buckling down and following all of the public health measures.”

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

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