Washington DOH to transition from mass vaccination sites to mobile clinics

Washington
Image Credit: SE Washington Interagency Team
Dr. Umair Shah visits the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick, Washington on Tuesday, February 9, 2021.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — On Thursday afternoon, representatives of the Washington Department of Health (DOH) announced that the state’s vaccination outreach program is transitioning away from mass vaccination sites and toward mobile vaccine clinics.

According to a press release issued by the DOH, this is the next phase of vaccine outreach. By taking vaccination clinics on the road, state leaders hope to reach people who have experienced barriers in receiving their COVID-19 vaccination. By doing so, they hope to assist Washingtonians in receiving their vaccine dose more equitably and conveniently.

Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah (MD, MPH) is proud of the efforts at these mass vaccination sites.

“Since opening January 26, our four state-led mass vaccination sites have administered nearly 300,000 doses of vaccine,” Dr. Shah said. “This remarkable achievement could not have been attained if it wasn’t for the hard work of DOH staff, the Washington National Guard, our local and private sector partners, as well as our community members who visited these sites to get vaccinated. This transition isn’t closing a door to vaccine opportunity but opening several new ones that will allow for more equitable vaccine access in the future.”

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The DOH’s mobile medical teams have already gotten to work, administering over 32,000 doses of vaccine across Washington state thus far.

These mobile vaccine clinics bring the opportunity to get vaccinated into communities that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. In many of the communities that will be visited have significantly lower vaccination rates than in other communities like those where mass vaccination sites were previously stationed.

By putting more of an emphasis on mobile vaccine clinics, the Washington DOH can take vaccines directly into communities with higher hospitalization rates including those that have experienced vaccine inequities and COVID-19 health disparities.

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As a result of this shift, the state-led mass vaccination sites in Ridgefield and Kennewick will officially close on May 28. Additionally, the mass vaccination site in Wenatchee will be operated by the Chelan-Douglas Health District instead of Washington DOH leadership.

If you would like to find a vaccination clinic near you and schedule an appointment, you can visit the DOH’s Vaccine Locator tool by clicking here. Otherwise, you can call 833-VAX-HELP or text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) or VACUNA (822862) to receive addresses of nearby vaccination sites.

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