FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2021
Snohomish County Joint Information Center
Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce emphasizes eligibility and appointment requirements for mass vaccination sites
People should be prepared to provide verification of eligibility at their appointment
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – All mass vaccination sites operated by the Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce are by appointment only for those eligible for vaccination in the current phase.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) established phases for vaccination that prioritize our most at-risk residents. These phases are crucial to ensuring equitable distribution of the limited vaccine supply, particularly to older adults and other vulnerable populations who are struggling to get appointments. Vaccinators must stay within these priorities in order to ensure that they continue to receive vaccine allocations from DOH.
To emphasize and better ensure Snohomish County’s mass vaccination sites remain within these priorities, the taskforce will begin conducting routine spot checks of eligibility at all of its mass vaccination sites for patients receiving their first dose. If someone arrives without an appointment, or if they have an appointment but are found to be ineligible at this time, they can be turned away from the site.
Those who are currently eligible are:
- Workers in health care settings
- High-risk first responders
- Residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance
- All people 65 years or older
- People 50 years or older who live in multigenerational households (2 or more generations)
- Example: An older adult who cannot live alone and is being cared for by a relative or in-home caregiver, or an older adult who shares the home with a grandchild.
- Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educators and staff and child care staff
The taskforce already requires people to attest they are eligible when they sign up for an appointment, and ID is checked to make sure the person arriving for the appointment is the same person the appointment was scheduled for. Verification of eligibility may be requested during spot checks of patients arriving at the sites.
To ensure they have proof of eligibility, people should use the PhaseFinder tool at www.findyourphasewa.org. Answer the questions and, if the PhaseFinder tool says you are eligible, save a screenshot, take a photo, or print off that page to provide upon arrival at your appointment. Other options to demonstrate eligibility include an ID showing age over 65 or a workplace ID or paystub showing employment in healthcare, long-term care, a school or child care.
The vaccine taskforce listened to concerns about people pursuing vaccination prior to becoming eligible under the phased approach. While the issue of people receiving vaccines out of turn is not unique to mass vaccination sites or to Snohomish County, it is something we continue working to address here.
Vaccine supply remains limited. A phased approach is key to prioritize doses for those who are most vulnerable and at greatest risk of serious illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. The sooner our highest-risk population is vaccinated, the greater certainty we will have in reducing the future threat of a medical surge, and the greater confidence we can have in moving forward to open the economy and the rest of society.
Wait for your phase. If you do see an opportunity to register but are not currently eligible, share the information with someone who is eligible and may be struggling to get an appointment. There are many ways people can assist friends, family and neighbors – consider helping them with transportation to a vaccination site, or with navigating online tools like PhaseFinder or registration portals.
For elders and others lacking such assistance and needing help with determining their eligibility or securing an appointment, you can call the COVID-19 call center for Snohomish County at 425-339-5278.
It is a challenging task to vaccinate people on a mass scale with a limited supply and in the midst of a pandemic. The Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce is committed to improving operations and to keeping the health and safety of the entire community at the core of this work. The taskforce will continue to seek the best policies and practices to vaccinate the people of Snohomish County efficiently, safely and equitably.
More information on mass vaccination site locations and registration links for first dose appointments are available at http://bit.ly/snocovaccine.