King County Council chair calls for more transparency on availability of vaccines

Feb 7, 2021, 8:30 AM | Updated: Feb 8, 2021, 7:11 am
Mass vaccination site in Auburn, Washington. (King County)
(King County)

COVID-19 vaccine supply struggles are being blamed for issues around the state.

Overlake Hospital postponed vaccinations for patients after the state’s allotment fell short of expectations. But that left a lot of people in the lurch, trying in vain to schedule a second dose once they got their first one.

KIRO 7 TV is hearing from those patients, as is Claudia Balducci, chair of the King County Council.

So, Overlake Hospital is not alone. But that doesn’t help the people who are trying so hard to get the lifesaving vaccine.

“I’m 76 years old,” said Jessie Chiu. “I had an appointment.”

But Chiu’s appointment to get her first coronavirus vaccine was postponed when Overlake Hospital’s allotment was drastically cut.

So the retired research scientist was given a new date: Feb. 19. But therein lies the problem.

“When I booked my original Feb. 5 date, I also booked my second shot,” Chiu said. “That was Feb. 26. I cannot (get the second shot then). Should be around March 10.”

The trouble is she can’t find an open date at Overlake.

“Very constantly, I go to the website to check, but absolutely nothing,” she said in frustration.

“I’ve done a number studies in my lab to look at the intervals between immunizations,” said Dr. Deborah Fuller. “And there’s quite a fair bit of flexibility there.”

Fuller, a University of Washington vaccinologist, said the second dose will be effective even outside the prescribed time. She said that is one concern people can put aside.

“Yes, yes,” Fuller said. “They don’t need to start all over for their first vaccine or worry that if they are late that they’re going to somehow respond less well or get less. Immunity is going to be just as good, if not better.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time on the internet, but I’m always too late,” Balducci read from the 500 responses to a survey she put out, hoping to find a way to resolve the chaotic vaccine rollout.

“I think what needs to happen is we all need to figure out a way to let people get good information,” said Balducci. “Even if the information is bad. Even it’s you’re going have to wait a few more weeks. If they knew, and they have a place that they can rely on, I think that would help people to calm down and feel better because they would know when.”

To that end, she plans to share what she is learning with the people who are in charge of the rollout so that hospitals like Overlake, as well as their patients, can find some relief. After all, the people at Overlake feel like they are getting a black eye in all of this.

As for Chiu, Overlake shared she doesn’t need to worry about the second dose. It will schedule that when she gets her first dose later this month.

But moments after KIRO 7 reported the story, an Overlake patient emailed that she got her first dose on Jan. 27. And her second dose still has not been scheduled.

So the confusion continues.

Written by KIRO 7 TV reporter Deborah Horne

Local News

Nicole Jennings

WA seeing major rise in antisemitism amidst hateful celebrity rhetoric

Acts of antisemitism are on the rise in Washington, with this year set to reach an all-time high in number of acts of hate against the Jewish community.
12 hours ago
Seattle likes Taylor Swift songs...
Micki Gamez

Seattle’s most downloaded songs and artists may surprise you

Newly released Spotify data says Taylor Swift is Seattle's most downloaded and listened to artist of the year 2022.
2 days ago
Stevens Pass skiing...
Heather Bosch

Stevens Pass vows to do better during this ski and snowboard season

The Stevens Pass Ski resort is open and it's under pressure to show skiers and snowboarders it has changed for the better.
2 days ago
Sunken ship Pacific...
Feliks Banel

Sunken ship lost 150 years ago, found off WA coast

The wreck of a sunken ship off the coast of Washington nearly 150 years ago has been found by a pair of maritime historians.
2 days ago
Puget Sound snow...
Bill Kaczaraba

Some snow into the Puget Sound region overnight

Friday snow is always a little bit different than Monday through Thursday snow. Friday snow is generally part of the holiday wonder.
2 days ago
human caused...
L.B. Gilbert

Small Business Administration offers disaster relief after Bolt Creek Fire

The SBA announced Thursday that they would be offering disaster relief loans to businesses impacted by the Bolt Creek Fire.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
King County Council chair calls for more transparency on availability of vaccines