King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci is releasing the following statement concerning today’s announcement that the county will provide funding to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations. The $7 million in funding will be used to create two high-volume community vaccination sites, plus multiple mobile teams to serve people at highest risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 classified by the state Department of Health as group “B1.”*
“COVID-19 has caused hardships for so many of us in King County since the outbreak first started here in 2020. People have been hard hit – isolated from loved ones, separated from work and school, put at risk of illness and economic crisis. The light at the end of the tunnel has finally started to appear in the form of very effective vaccines that are now beginning to be available.
“As we start to turn the corner toward brighter days, we have much going for us. We have a Public Health Department that is among the very best. We have a regional government that has worked well together to support the effort and investment needed to combat the virus in our communities. Although we are nominally nonpartisan, the King County Council includes Democrats and Republicans and I am proud to say that we have been fully united in the effort to combat the virus and support the people of King County. I commend and support Executive Constantine in committing to this aggressive strategy.
“Our residents need to get back to work. Our families need their children to get back to school. The key to getting back is widespread vaccination as quickly as possible. We in local government are stepping up again today to do everything we can to make vaccines available to those most in need throughout King County.”
*Populations included in the State Department of Health’s B1 phase designation includes people 70-years-old or older; those 50 and over who live in multigenerational households; and high-risk critical workers 50-years-old or older such as teachers, grocery store workers, and transit operators. Eventually, this county system will be open to all members of the public as more vaccine supplies become available.