When school nurse Maureen McKenzie rolled up her sleeve at the new COVID-19 vaccination site at Boeing’s Everett Activity Center, it was easy to visualize the smile hidden beneath her mask.
“It feels amazing,” she said of getting her second dose of the Moderna vaccine. “I am just so thrilled to have that second dose in.”
It’s a sentiment shared by one person after another who entered the Everett Activity Center, which has now become the first mass vaccination site utilized by the Snohomish County Vaccine Taskforce.
The vaccines at the site are administered by the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association (SVNA). With enough supply, they will be able to administer up to 10,000 vaccines per week.
“Once they’re here, they’re so thankful,” said Terri Epp, a nurse with SVNA who is administering the vaccines to a steady stream of recipients. “I had a lady that broke down into tears.” She said, ‘I haven’t seen my grandkids in nine months.’ And she was bawling because she knows there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. So she was very thankful. Everybody is very happy to get in here.”
The site at Boeing’s Everett Activity Center is expected to remain open for several months to help increase access to the COVID-19 vaccines for those who live or work in Snohomish County and meet state eligibility requirements.
“We are absolutely delighted to partner with Snohomish County in providing our facility to help vaccinate members of the community,” said Brad Zaback, vice president and general manager at the Everett site and 777 program. “Our teammates live in the community and we know getting these vaccinations out will help the community. We’re just proud to be part of it.”
“I had the chance to view it the other day, it’s a great set up,” said Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive, about the Everett facility. “We very, very much appreciate the partnership with The Boeing Company.”
The Everett site is open to people who live or work in Snohomish County and meet the State of Washington’s phased eligibility criteria. Eligible individuals must schedule their appointment in advance using the online registration site through the link(s) included below. Appointment availability may be limited.
Occupational therapist Kristy Uddin said she was thrilled to be one of the first vaccine recipients at the new site. “I work with children in pediatrics,” she said. “So it feels great to know that I’m protecting myself and my students as well as my family.”
Nurses and vaccine recipients at the site agreed that one of the keys to getting more people vaccinated more quickly is when businesses like Boeing work with public health districts to make the vaccine more accessible.
“The more people work together, the quicker we can get vaccinations in arms,” said Epp. “And so this is great that Boeing has opened up this facility for us. We’re very happy.”
For information on who is eligible to receive the vaccine through this or other Snohomish County vaccination events, please visit the Snohomish Health District website: www.snohd.org/covidvaccine or the Snohomish County Coronavirus Response & Community Resource Hub: bit.ly/SnoCoHub under the “COVID-19 Vaccine” button.
By Deborah Feldman and Eric Olson