Local emergency management officials say the county will transition to more community clinics

More than 60 percent of eligible county residents have initiated their COVID-19 vaccine as local officials continue to support further vaccination efforts.                                                                                                                                        

Forty-nine percent of people eligible for the vaccine have completed their vaccine and 12 percent of eligible people have started the process, said Snohomish Health District Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters during a June 1 press briefing.

“All age groups over 16 years of age had at least 49 percent vaccination,” said Spitters. The lowest age group was those age 16 to 19.

Kids aged 12 to 15 only received authorization for the vaccine a few weeks ago but that process has now begun, said Spitters.

“Our younger population has been quick on the uptake,” he said. “Twenty-seven percent of those 12 to 15 years of age have initiated vaccination."

The disparity between racial groups has closed, although the Latino population is still a few percentage points behind other groups.

“The most recent data showed decreasing gaps between Latinos and other groups,” said Spitters, who added 44 percent of Latino Snohomish County residents have received the vaccine.

That is compared to 50 percent of white residents, 51 percent of Native residents, 54 percent of Black residents, 71 percent of Asian residents and 81 percent of Pacific Islander residents.

The county was also able to look at ZIP Code data to show the areas that have different levels of vaccinations.

Marysville and Arlington areas are lagging behind the average, although not by that much.

“There’s nowhere that’s really way far behind,” said Spitters.

He also noted that the ZIP Code data is not perfect and could have bias in the data.

For the 98223 ZIP Code, which covers Arlington and outlying areas, 42 percent of people are vaccinated, as of this June.

That data shows percent of the total population, not percent of the eligible population. About 50 percent of all Snohomish County residents have initiated vaccination.

For the 98270 ZIP Code, which covers Marysville, 45 percent of people are vaccinated.

For the 98271 ZIP Code, which covers Marysville, Tulalip and outlying areas, 47 percent of people are vaccinated.

Snohomish County Director of Emergency Management Jason Biermann said the data is useful to look for “any gaps that we have missed or folks we need to communicate differently.”

The county is looked to transition away from their mass vaccination sites into more community-based clinics.

The mass vaccine sites “have all seen significant reduction in the amount of folks who want to make appointments,” said Biermann.

Those sites will still be open, however the days they are available will be getting reduced.

“They will begin to wind down and we will begin to focus on community-based clinics,” said Biermann.

The county is looking at schools to reach out more directly to community members and held their first school-based clinic in Everett, which served 235 students and community members.

“That is the kind of community access we’re trying to get now,” said Biermann.

He noted the vaccination effort is continuing and 25,000 people received a vaccine dose between May 18 and 25.

Approximately 16,000 of those individuals received their first dose.

“Overall, we are still seeing good progress in Snohomish County with people getting vaccinated,” said Biermann.

As the mass vaccination sites close, clinics and pharmacies will continue to remain open for vaccines.

“Kaiser is one of the many sites you can get your vaccine at,” said Adam Jonas, district medical director with Snohomish Kaiser-Permanente Washington.

“As opposed to a few months ago, we now have more vaccines than we’re seeing demand,” he said.

Kaiser-Permanente mainly offers vaccines through their Everett clinic, but also provides some at their Smokey Point clinic, said Jonas.

Jonas said he sees some people with hesitancy to get the vaccine and encourages them to reach out to their doctor, nurse or other care provider.

“I’ve seen some folks in the clinics who have a lot of misgivings and I understand a lot of people feel uncertain about the vaccine still, either because of the emergency status, information they’re getting from other sources or the timeline of how fast the vaccine came,” he said. “I think we can provide a lot of reassurance and answer your questions."

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