PeaceHealth Southwest says they also have plenty of appointments available
CLARK COUNTY — If you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and want to get one, odds are finding an appointment will be relatively painless.
On Thursday afternoon, Clark County Public Health announced that the Tower Mall community vaccination site at 5403 E. Mill Plain Blvd would be expanding to accept up to 1,000 appointments per day, and plenty of slots were available.
The site, a collaboration between Clark County Public Health, the city of Vancouver, and Safeway Pharmacies, initially accepted 600 people per day the first week it was open, expanding to 860 per day before last weekend, and now up to 1,000.
At last check plenty of appointment slots, which are required to get a vaccination at the Tower Mall site, were still available online.
PeaceHealth Southwest also said they have plenty of vaccine supply available, and are encouraging people who qualify to contact them for an appointment.
Vaccine appointments are free, and should be available regardless of your health insurance provider, or whether you have insurance to begin with.
Groups that are newly eligible in Phase 1B, Tier 2 include:
• Congregate agriculture workers
• Congregate food processing and fishing vessels employees
• Workers in congregate grocery stores or food banks
• Congregate staff in correctional facilities, prisons, jails, detention facilities and court facilities
• Congregate public transit workers
• First responders not covered in an earlier phase or tier
• Early learning and child care program workers permitted to operate under state guidance but not covered in Tier 1
These are in addition to people in earlier phases, which remain eligible.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Thursday that the state’s vaccine rollout was ramping up, with Tier 3 and 4 becoming eligible on March 31, nearly two weeks ahead of schedule for Tier 3, and nearly a month early for the other phases.
“Because our doses are increasing and our daily vaccination rates remain around our goal, we are thrilled to announce that we can get this vaccine to more Washingtonians sooner than we initially thought,” Inslee said in a statement. “I encourage everyone, especially those who were among the first eligible but haven’t gotten a dose, to take advantage of this life-saving instrument.”
If you’re uncertain, you can fill out the state’s Phase Finder page online, or call (800) 525-0127 and press # to speak with someone. Clark County Public Health also maintains a call center to answer questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. That number is (888) 225-4625.
The state also announced a public-private partnership allowing them to launch a new vaccine finder tool, which could connect you with providers or pharmacies in your area that have doses available for immediate appointments.
The Vaccine Command and Coordination System (VACCS) Center should also greatly improve the state’s COVID-19 hotline phone system, reducing wait times and making it easier to schedule appointments if you lack reliable internet access.
That will ramp up on March 22 when Amazon call center representatives begin supporting the existing hotline system, the Department of Health announced, in an effort to further reduce wait times.
“We have been honored and humbled by the private companies who have stepped up and offered their expertise and resources to aid in our vaccination efforts. Leading Northwest employers such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Costco, Expedia, Kaiser Permanente, Providence, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others have been absolutely amazing,” said VACCS Center Director Dan Laster. “But we don’t want to forget the smaller companies like Prota Ventures and volunteer groups like COVID WA and Vaccine Bookers who have also come forward with one goal in mind: helping to get shots in the arms of Washingtonians in the safest, most efficient and equitable way possible and we are excited to see what the next six weeks will bring.”