Snoqualmie Valley Hospital mass vaccination event goes smoothly

Wind and rain couldn’t keep more than 800 people from lining up to receive a first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital’s first mass vaccination event.

The event, held on March 26, came about through a partnership between the hospital and the Snoqualmie Fire Department, which helped man the four vaccination tents at the drive-thru event. Hospital spokesperson Sherry Jennings said it was an event that included the whole community, and the city of Snoqualmie and its police.

Those who received their first dose on March 26 will need to return for a second shot on April 25, and arrive for the same time slot as the first shot. Jennings reminded people to bring their vaccination card.

On April 15, everyone over the age of 16 in Washington state will be eligible to receive a vaccine. It’s expected to allow an additional 1.2 million Washingtonians to register for vaccines.

Pfizer announced on March 31 that its vaccine is safe and highly effective for those ages 12 and up, which could pave the way for even more people to be eligible to receive a shot.

Jennings said they’re figuring out how to increase their capacity to meet demand.

“As those phases open up, then we really need to make more doses accessible to more people,” she said. “We have to plan on staffing and operational changes. We work daily on this plan.”

The hospital is currently providing around 150 doses a day by appointment. Staff is also conducting outreach to senior centers and other facilities to administer doses to those who cannot make it to a vaccination clinic.

Snoqualmie Valley Transportation is also helping people reach clinics, and the Snoqualmie Tribe is administering vaccines as well.

Statewide, nearly 28% of people have received at least one dose, and nearly 17% are fully vaccinated. In King County, more than 37% of people older than 16 have received one dose, and more than 21% are fully vaccinated, SeattleMet wrote.

King County has experienced an increase in positive COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks, according to the county’s dashboard. Over the last 14 days, as of April 2, there were 3,597 positive cases.

Washington state expects to receive some 408,730 total doses of coronavirus vaccines this week, and roughly 711,000 over the next two weeks. However, demand is still outpacing supply.

With spring break approaching, King County’s Public Health Officer Jeff Duchin urged people who travel to get tested before and after their trip. The Centers for Disease Control recently issued guidance saying it’s safe for people who are fully vaccinated to fly again two weeks after their last shot. Both Moderna and Pfizer require two shots, while Johnson & Johnson has only one. However, the CDC urged people to continue to wear masks and social distance.