City of Seattle and UFCW 21 Partner on Vaccination Clinic for 400 Eligible Grocery Store Workers

Since Launching Vaccination Efforts on January 14, the Seattle Fire Department has Vaccinated 1,744 of Seattle’s Most Vulnerable Populations

Seattle (January 29, 2021) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced a new partnership with UFCW 21 to vaccinate 400 of their most vulnerable members in the coming days. The Seattle Fire Department Mobile Vaccination Teams (MVT) will vaccinate Phase 1B, Tier 1 eligible UFCW 21 grocery store workers who, due to their work environment, are at an extremely high risk of exposure to COVID-19.

“In their first weeks in the field, our Mobile Vaccination Teams have provided relief and security to hundreds of our most vulnerable Seattle residents. As the City receives additional doses, we can vaccinate more workers and elders, who are some of our highest risk communities without equitable access to the health care system,” said Mayor Durkan. “We know that Seattle’s road to reopening and economic recovery starts with vaccinations, and Seattle is committed to significantly increasing the vaccination rate and ensuring the vaccine is easy and accessible to our City’s workers and residents. Even as more of us begin to get vaccinated, we’ll need to continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and following all public health guidance.”

The pop-up vaccination clinic with UFCW 21 will vaccinate 400 of the union’s Phase 1B, Tier 1 eligible grocery store workers. UFCW 21 represents over 46,000 members working in grocery store retail, health care and other industry jobs. Many older UFCW 21 grocery store workers have been unable to get vaccinated due to the lack of supply and the lack of vaccinations available in pharmacies located in the stores where they work. Grocery store workers remain one of the groups at the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to their occupation. In addition to this pop-up vaccination event, the Mayor will sign recent Seattle City Council legislation establishing a $4 per hour hazard pay for grocery store workers in Seattle.

“Grocery store workers have risked their lives for all of us. They need to be vaccinated as soon as possible. As of last weekend, the variant of the highly contagious COVID has been detected in our state—we are in the most dangerous moments of this pandemic, as we race against time to get vaccinated. Grocery workers have been and continue to go to work every day with a deep fear in their hearts that they will get sick and die, or unthinkably, bring this home to those they love,” said Faye Guenther, President of UFCW 21.

In total, the City has vaccinated 1,744 vulnerable Seattle residents and workers since launching its vaccination effort on January 14, 2021. These vaccinations have occurred at 85 Adult Family Homes, nine affordable senior housing buildings, two congregate permanent supportive housing buildings, and one pop-up. The City has not wasted a single dose and continues to administer 100% of its allocation within one week of receiving it. The City expects to receive another 1,000 doses from the state on Tuesday, February 2.

“All of us have depended on grocery store employees to continue reporting to work during the pandemic to provide an essential service to the public. These individuals regularly operate in an environment where people are coming and going, which is why we are excited to announce the partnership with UFCW 21 to help vaccinate the members they represent. At our pop-up vaccination clinic, we will have several paramedics and firefighter/EMTs administering the vaccines, so these workers can begin to feel safer reporting to work with added protection against COVID-19,” said Fire Chief Harold Scoggins.

For more information, visit www.seattle.gov/vaccine. The City’s vaccination website is available in seven languages, and in-language assistance is also available over the phone.

Even as more residents get vaccinated, public health measures like social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands remain critical. Please continue to follow all public health guidance, and visit this website from Public Health – Seattle & King County for more information.