Jan. 15—Pierce County plans to hold mass COVID-19 vaccination events in an effort to speed up the vaccination process.
The county's goal is to administer 4,600 vaccines a day, delivering a total of 700,000 doses to 350,000 people, according to a statement released on Friday morning.
"This will augment the vaccination effort currently underway by pharmacies and health care providers," the county statement said.
She said the plan is contingent on available vaccines.
"As soon as we hear that it's available and ready to go, we will set up sites based on the quantities we're able to get, and we will follow that guidance," Ferguson said. "Our responsibility is to build that infrastructure and make sure it's ready to go. So if it trickles in, we can get those doses out. If it floods in, we can get those doses out."
The rollout looks to include three mass vaccination sites and several mobile locations by the end of January, or as soon as the vaccine is available.
The plan also includes up to eight mobile vaccination sites and "drop teams" that can bring vaccinations to those unable to travel to established sites, such as assisted living facilities, adult family homes and other priority groups, the statement said.
The locations have yet to be determined, but considerations include proximity to public transportation, equitable access and geographic diversity. Ferguson said they need areas with a lot of space like large parking lots for at least eight drive-thru lanes as well as walk-up access.
For more remote parts of the county, she is looking at RVs and trailers for smaller locations.
"The best way to serve our community, I think, is to go to them," Ferguson said. "How can we go to every corner of the county to the most rural areas to ensure groups are being vaccinated?"
These events are for those still seeking vaccines in Phase 1A, then following the subsequent phases in alignment with state's plan, Ferguson said. Phase 1A includes health care workers and first responders at high risk and residents and staff at long-term care facilities.
"It's taken too long for our residents to get COVID vaccinations, so we are implementing a local plan to get this done," County Executive
The initial weeks of the vaccination effort are estimated to cost
About 58,000 are eligible for the vaccine in Phase 1A in
The health department reported on its COVID-19 dashboard as of
"It's about leveraging the strength in our community," Ferguson told
Once taken from the freezers, the
To avoid vaccine waste, Ferguson said, the county is looking to have waiting lists of whomever is in the state-approved phase for extra doses.
The frustration with the state's rollout plan has been apparent in the weeks since the initial launch in December. On Wednesday, state
"The vast majority of vaccine is actually somewhere in the system," Shah said Wednesday. "It's whether it's in the shelf of a provider, whether it's being ready to be given in a room of a provider, whether it's in a hospital system, or whether it's somewhere in between."
Asked about the bottleneck in receiving vaccines, Ferguson said, "My view is the county needs to build the infrastructure for whatever vaccines becomes available, and I can only comment on the number of vaccines that have come directly to me, and which is zero."
On Friday, Gov.
"Governors were told repeatedly by @HHSgov there was a strategic reserve of vaccines, and this week, the American people were told it'd be released to increase supply of vaccine. It appears now that no reserve exists. The Trump admin. must answer immediately for this deception," he wrote.
For now, vaccine distribution updates with locations for qualifying individuals, can be found at tpchd.org/healthy-people/provider-resources/covid-19-vaccine and at the state
Additional vaccine details also are on the
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