LOCAL NEWS

Seattle Chamber calls vaccine clinic series vital step of business recovery

Apr 27, 2021, 2:59 PM | Updated: Apr 28, 2021, 8:06 am
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A sign at a West Seattle vaccine clinic. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

Still trying to find a vaccine in King County? The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is here to help with a new Bothell vaccine clinic this week.

In partnership with Kroger/QFC, T-Mobile, and Business Health Trust, the Chamber is running a mass vaccine clinic this Wednesday and Thursday at the T-Mobile offices in Bothell, with the hopes of getting 1,000 doses out.

“It is on the critical path to economic recovery, so everything that we can do in terms of getting these out is a good thing,” said Seattle Chamber President and CEO Rachel Smith.

The Bothell vaccine clinic is part of a rotating series of pop-up clinics the chamber is doing throughout the region, from Everett to Tacoma to the Eastside. The goal is to get 17,000 doses to people by next month; so far, they’ve gotten out more than 7,500.

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“Providing these pop-up clinics in different parts of our community, I think really makes a difference in terms of access — either for those who are facing barriers to access, or for whom it’s simply easier to get it at one of these clinics than through a traditional health care provider,” Smith said.

Smith said next to helping small businesses get PPP loans and other financial relief, vaccines are the other priority in their recovery plan for the area’s mom-and-pops.

“The key thing for us in this sort of road to recovery is making sure that our small and struggling businesses have the financial relief that they need to stay on their feet … and to make sure that folks get vaccinated,” she said.

It’s not just about getting enough widespread immunity to legally open the state back up to 100% capacity, but also about getting the case rates and immunity to a point where people go out again in the same numbers as before, supporting their local shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

“When we have that high level of vaccination in our community, all of a sudden that’s going to mean that people feel more comfortable going into businesses, so that our small businesses can see the volume that they need to see,” Smith said. “It’ll mean that our larger employers are able to bring more people back to work. That’s what’s really going to create the commerce, both for our small businesses and our large employers.”

They’re working to reach out to the people who may have the most trouble getting vaccines, such as reaching out to the elderly who may not have internet access, and providing translators for people who do not speak English as a first language.

Sign up on QFC’s website — appointments are going fast. And if you miss this one, eight more chamber-run clinics are coming up.

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Seattle Chamber calls vaccine clinic series vital step of business recovery