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Our new Vaccine Help List opens more paths to vaccination.

Since receiving our first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14, we have worked to get doses into as many arms as possible. Local vaccine providers have administered more than 480,000 doses to Pierce County residents. More than 188,000 are  fully vaccinated. The many paths to vaccination provide opportunities for most everyone to receive the vaccine.

But we know not everyone who wants the vaccine has been able to get it. The state’s phased approach to vaccine eligibility meant many had to wait to receive the vaccine. Now that everyone 16 years or older is eligible, that barrier has been removed. But other barriers still exist for some. Among them:

  • Computer access or technology.
  • Transportation or travel distance issues
  • Not everyone can easily leave their house.
  • Language barriers.

From the beginning of our vaccination efforts, we’ve worked to overcome these barriers.

A new service.

Now we’re doing more. This week we launched our COVID-19 Vaccine Help List. Anyone who is eligible and wants help finding vaccine appointments can sign up. And you can help us by letting us know if you’d like to get a call about last-minute opportunities to receive leftover doses the day of our vaccine events. We will also help people find:

  • First and second doses.
  • Moderna and Pfizer vaccine.
  • Appointments at healthcare facilities, pharmacies and COVID-19 vaccine events.
  • Walk-up and drive-thru events.
  • Help with transportation to appointments and events.

You can sign up online or call us at (253) 649-1412, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week. You’ll be able to select from a set of preferences, including how you want to be contacted, any barriers you face, even the kind of vaccine you want or whether you prefer drive-thru or walk-up events. Once you’re signed up, you’ll get invitations to vaccine opportunities and services based on your needs, availability of doses, and your position on the list.

Vaccine opportunities might come from our community vaccine events, healthcare facilities, or pharmacies.

Our call center is at your service.

Along with getting you onto the help list, our call center also works as a five-star concierge service for those seeking the vaccine. Have trouble with computers? They can help you register for an appointment. Trouble finding a second dose? They can help. Someone needs an interpreter? They can help. Can’t leave home? Or need transportation to a vaccine event? They can make those arrangements, too.

And they’re able to answer all your general questions about COVID-19. You can reach the call center at (253) 649-1412. They are available 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week.

Need a free ride to a COVID-19 vaccine event in Pierce County?

Another Pierce County service recently expanded. If you have special transportation needs, contact Around the Sound at (253) 858-7088 or atstrans.org

They provide transportation to individuals with limited mobility, including people in wheelchairs and scooters. They only take a few riders, so everyone can keep safe distances. Caregivers and family helpers are welcome.

 

This service is a partnership between Around the Sound, Pierce County Human Services and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

Free bus rides, too.

Pierce Transit is providing free bus rides to people getting vaccinated or volunteering at a vaccination clinic. Passengers will need to confirm they have an appointment that day with a printed, email, text or verbal confirmation.

For help with trip planning, contact Pierce Transit’s Customer Service office at 253.581.8000 (option 1, then option 1 again), use Pierce Transit’s online Trip Planner or download the Transit app.

Static walk-up vaccine site in Lakewood.

This week marks the opening of our new, walk-up vaccination site at the Lakewood Town Center in the old Dress Barn location. This is the first of what we hope will be multiple fixed sites around Pierce County to help more people get vaccinated. They’ll be open multiple days every week with hundreds of doses available every day.

For the Lakewood site, we will offer appointments every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

We’ll keep working to make it as easy as possible to get vaccinated.  

In the meantime, keep doing the things that keep you, your family and your neighbors safe.