More Yakima County residents eligible for vaccine

Phase 1B Tier 2 eligibility starts Wednesday

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — Thousands of Yakima County residents who have been waiting to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can now start scheduling their appointments.

Washington state moved to Phase 1B Tier 2 of its vaccine distribution plan Wednesday, adding high risk critical workers in agriculture, fishing vessel crews, food processing, grocery stores, corrections, prisons, jails, detention centers, public transit and additional first responders to the list of people eligible for vaccination.

According to the Yakima Health District, local health organizations have administered 39,674 first doses and 18,462 second doses countywide, but more residents are still waiting in line.

With more than half of Yakima County’s workers considered essential, local health authorities said they’re expecting demand for the vaccine to increase significantly.

“Having the essential workforce in Yakima County be 63 percent of the population, we do know there will be an increase in the number of people that become eligible ,” said Stephanie Badillo-Sanchez, Communications Specialist for the Yakima Health District.

Yakima County health care organizations said they’re already seeing more requests for appointments and are anticipate that number to continue to increase.

Badillo-Sanchez said the addition of the county-run drive-thru mass vaccination site at State Fair Park should help to address some of that increased demand. The site opened for the first time Wednesday morning.

RELATED: Yakima drive-thru mass vaccination site opens

“The good thing is that, thankfully, the drive-thru community vaccination clinic opened today in Yakima, so that will serve as an additional resource to help vaccinate individuals,” Badillo-Sanchez said.

Badillo-Sanchez said the site is starting with 500 vaccines for the whole week, but will eventually be able to administer 500 per day, depending on the county’s vaccine supply.

Appointments are required for the drive-thru mass vaccination site and can be made online at the PrepMod website. The site will be closed Mondays and open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

“We just want to encourage everyone for their patience when they are scheduling their appointments, especially if they can’t get it right this week,” Badillo-Sanchez said. “Just continue trying.”

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Posted by Yakima Health District on Wednesday, March 17, 2021