In an effort to accelerate the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations, Pierce County officials are moving forward with plans to swiftly create three mass vaccination sites and several mobile locations.
The County’s Department of Emergency Management has developed a rollout plan that calls for large-scale vaccination locations with a goal to have them up and running by the end of January, or as soon as the vaccine is available.
“It’s taken too long for our residents to get COVID vaccinations, so we are implementing a local plan to get this done,” said Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive. “As we proved with the more than 92,455 mobile COVID tests we have administered, we can move quickly and smartly to make this happen for Pierce County residents.”
Based on Census data and early planning efforts, officials estimate the initiative will deliver 700,000 doses to 350,000 people (2 each) in approximately 7 months, depending on vaccine availability. The goal is to administer 4,600 vaccines a day at full capacity. This will augment the vaccination effort currently underway by pharmacies and healthcare providers.
“Getting vaccines into arms as efficiently as possible is our top priority,” said Council Chair Derek Young. “Creating this plan now and providing easy to access locations for people to get vaccinated across the county will reduce life-altering injuries and ultimately save lives.”
The plan also includes up to eight mobile vaccination sites and “drop teams” that can bring vaccinations to those unable to travel to established sites, such as assisted living facilities, adult family homes and other priority groups.
Several months ago, the County’s Department of Emergency Management purchased freezers that will ensure COVID-19 vaccines are preserved at the required low temperature.
Several criteria are being used to locate the sites: proximity to public transportation, equitable access and geographic diversity.
The initial weeks of the vaccination effort are estimated to cost $4 million, which is expected to be reimbursed by state or federal funding sources. Council will consider an emergency budget request at its 3 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19.