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Mayor Durkan Statement on New COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility in Washington State

Seattle (March 4, 2021) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued a statement following Governor Inslee’s announcement today highlighting the projected timeline for vaccinations that employees who work in congregate settings – including grocery store workers, transit workers, teachers and childcare workers – will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination beginning on March 22.   

“In just over one year since the discovery of the first COVID-19 case in our region, Washington State has surpassed 5,000 COVID-19 related deaths including 354 in Seattle. This year has been hard for everyone – especially those who have lost loved ones as we continue to fight the challenges brought on by this public health. Each person lost due to COVID-19 is the loss of a family member, neighbor, friend, and community member.  

“One year later, Seattle has the lowest number of cases and hospitalizations of any major city in America, even though we were the epicenter of this crisis. Seattle and Washington residents have sacrificed a lot this past year, but that sacrifice has saved countless lives. 

“Our greatest challenge in the coming weeks is ramping up vaccinations and reopening safely including our schools. The pandemic has exacerbated opportunity gaps that put low-income students at a disadvantage relative to their better-off peers, and public health officials believe we can safely reopen our schools. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City has continued operating child care facilities serving hundreds of children safely.  

“As we add more eligibility, our region must be patient. Even though we are still receiving limited doses each week, we are working hard to ramp up our capacity to administer vaccines to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. In addition to our mobile teams and sites in Rainier Beach and West Seattle, we’ll soon open a major regional site at Lumen Filed Event Center which will be capable of more than 20,000 doses a day.  

“While more individuals are vaccinated, we all need to continue doing what we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We will get through this, together.”