Snoqualmie Tribe’s Vaccine Partnership wins county award for community resilience

As of Sept. 28, East King County and the cities of Sammamish and Issaquah have some of the highest vaccination rates in the state.

The Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership has been named the winner of the 11th annual Executive’s Award for community resilience, for delivering tens of thousands COVID-19 vaccines to King County residents.

The award is given by the county executive each fall in recognition of the efforts made by community organizations to prepare for, and respond to, emergencies and to promote safer communities.

“This award helps us hold up succesful strategies, examples of collaboration and herorism,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “That’s why I established the award eleven years ago, and why I’m honored to recognize the incredible, collaborative work of the Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership.”

The partnership was a collaboration between the Snoqualmie Tribe, Eastside Fire and Rescue, and the cities of Sammamish and Issaquah to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to residents at Lake Sammamish State Park last spring, at a time when it was difficult to secure an appointment for the shot.

All vaccines for the clincs were provided by the Snoqualmie Tribe. Across the country, many tribes have been ahead of the curve in vaccinating their members, so many started offering vaccines to those beyond their communities. As sovereign nations, tribes are allowed to allocate vaccines as they see fit. The partnership was the Eastside’s only community-based mass vaccination site and vaccinated up to 300 people per day.

Between April and June, a drive-thru mass vaccination site, run by 200 volunteers, delivered more than 15,000 doses of the vaccine to county residents at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah. Additionally, Eastside Fire and Rescue personnel delivered 6,800 doses of the vaccine at the tribe’s casino, as well as an additional 1,000 doses through pop-up clinics.

The partnership also conducted vaccine clinics at cultural centers, faith-based facilities, food banks, shopping centers and neighborhood associations in Issaquah and Sammamish. It also assisted school districts with their vaccination efforts.

“Our impressive vaccination rates in Issaquah and Sammamish reflect the dedication of our partnership to provide easy and equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly. “We are forever grateful for Snoqualmie Tribe’s care for our communities.”

As of Sept. 28, East King County and the cities of Sammamish and Issaquah have some of the highest vaccination rates in the state. Of King County’s 10 geographical regions, defined by its COVID-19 dashboard, the eastern section of the county had the highest vaccination rate at 88.5%. Three of the four zip codes comprising Issaquah and Sammamish also have vaccination rates over 90%.

“The Snoqualmie Tribe is very grateful to have this work recognized by Executive Constantine,” said Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman Robert de los Angeles. “It was an honor to us to be able to exercise our Tribal sovereignty and demonstrate our resilience in a way that supported and protected the community in such a direct way. We could not have asked for better partners in making this a reality.”