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Three vaccination sites to open in King County as dose supply expected to increase

Healthcare workers distribute vaccines late into the night at a last-minute COVID-19 vaccine event at Seattle University after a freezer failure at a nearby hospital on Jan. 29, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

As more doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are expected to become available in the coming weeks, Seattle announced that it is opening three more vaccination sites in March.

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The first two sites opened Monday in Rainier Beach and West Seattle, operating at current walk-up testing sites. Testing for COVID-19 will still be offered at both sites as well.

Mayor Jenny Durkan said the city sites will be begin by vaccinating up to 2,000 people per week. As supply increases, that number could rise to 1,000 per day.

“Each of these will be able to operate weekly with the doses we get — that’s between 1,000 to 2,000 people per week,” Durkan said. “Once supply ramps up, we estimate that we can do as many as 1,000 people per day at each of these sites.”

For now, registration for those sites will only be made through referrals from community-based groups.

“We’re really focused on reaching communities that have been most impacted by the virus, and have had the least access to the vaccine,” explained King County Executive Dow Constantine.

A third mass vaccination site will open later this month at the Lumen Field Event Center, capable of administering as many as 21,000 vaccinations a day and 150,000 a week to the entire region.

Additionally, Public Health — Seattle & King County’s Kent and Auburn vaccination sites expanded eligibility Monday to include adults age 65 and older. The sites previously focused on south King County residents ages 75 and older, and individuals who are unable to live independently and their caregivers.

As of Jan. 18, 2021, Washington state has opened vaccine distribution through Phase 1B, tier 1, which includes everyone age 65 or older, and anyone 50 or older who lives in a multigenerational household. Vaccination is currently open for people who are eligible for Phase 1A as well, which includes health care workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities.

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Confirm your vaccination eligibility with the Washington State Department of Health’s Phase Finder here. If you are not yet eligible, you can sign up to be notified when you become eligible for the vaccine.

The vaccine is available for individuals regardless of insurance, citizenship, or immigration status. You will not be charged or billed for vaccinations.

Find more information about getting vaccinated in King County online here.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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