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Mass COVID-19 vaccination sites and mobile units planned for King County

Instead of waiting for state or federal funding, King County leadership wants to move forward with a $7 million plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

KING COUNTY, Wash. — King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a plan Friday to spend $7 million to set up high-volume COVID-19 community vaccination sites and mobile units as the next phase of vaccinations begin.

Constantine said he is working with King County Council to direct the funds.

The goal is to "hit the ground running" as Washington state enters Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout.

The sites and mobile teams will serve those eligible for the vaccine under the state's plan.

Washington is currently in Phase 1A of the vaccine plan. This phase includes at-risk health care workers, first responders and long-term care facility residents and staff. Over half a million people are included in the first phase of Washington's plan. 

Phase 1B will likely not go into effect until after January. There will be four tiers of prioritization of vaccinating Washingtonians, the first of which includes people age 70 or older and people 50 or older living in multi-generational households.

The sites, according to King County Executive Dow Constantine, will be similar to the COVID-19 testing sites. They will be "vital" for people who do not have regular healthcare. 

According to information from the county, two vaccination centers will be created, most likely in south King County. The south end of the county has higher incidence of COVID-19 along with other health disparities, according to the county.

The funding will come out of King County's budget. Constantine said they are "not waiting around" for the typical negotiations and contracts. However, he said the county expects to be reimbursed by the state and federal government. 

RELATED: Next phase of Washington's COVID-19 vaccine rollout released