Gov. Inslee announces supplemental vaccine supply, mobile clinics to meet demand surge
To redress a surge in demand for COVID-19 vaccines brought on by the holiday season and concerns over variant-linked cases, Gov. Inslee, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Division (FEMA), has announced the deployment of multiple mobile vaccine clinics to Western Washington.
The mobile clinic, set to open Dec. 20 at Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, will operate for about 30 days. The coalition also plans to open an additional site in a to-be-determined location.
The clinic is not intended to operate as a mass vaccination site. Instead, it was a targeted attempt to meet scarcity of supply at its source. The mobile clinic is an “all family affair,” intended to provide vaccines for both adults and eligible children.
“We know vaccine demand is high in certain parts of our state, both for pediatric doses and for booster doses. I’m thrilled so many people are rolling up their sleeves to further protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” wrote Dr. Umair A. Shah, state Secretary of Health, in a news release. “To end this pandemic, it is critical vaccines are widely available for everyone. Adding this mobile unit to our toolkit will help us speed up the vaccination process and reach families who have had a more difficult time finding appointments.”
Supplementing the arrival of the additional mobile vaccine clinics, Gov. Inslee’s office reported that 30,000 additional vaccine doses have been approved for Washington state at the federal level.
“To close some of the … pressure that we’re feeling among the public to get people vaccinated, … we are working with the federal government to get even more doses above those 30,000,” confirmed Dr. Lacy Fehrenbach, the state’s deputy secretary for COVID response, in a press conference Thursday.
In that same conference, Gov. Inslee emphasized that the state has a robust vaccine supply on hand.
“The problem isn’t access to vaccines, at least on a long term basis,” Inslee said. “It’s the lack of people willing to get them that’s the fundamental problem. There is a temporary bulge in the pipeline because people come in droves the last few days because omicron is scaring a lot of people, so the demand has skyrocketed. It is a relatively temporary condition.”
“You will be able to get this vaccine if you want it,” he added. “You might have to wait a day or two.”
The Federal Way mobile clinic will be located at 31510 Pete Von Reichbauer Way South.