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Pierce County approves $4 million to help establish mass COVID-19 vaccination sites

In a 6-1 vote Tuesday, the Pierce County Council approved allocating $4 million from the general fund to help establish three mass COVID-19 vaccination sites.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — The Pierce County Council voted Tuesday to approve allocating $4 million from the county's general fund to help set up mass COVID-19 vaccination sites. Officials said they expect to be reimbursed by the state or federal funding sources.

In an effort to speed up the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, Pierce County plans to establish three mass vaccination sites and several mobile locations. 

The County's Department of Emergency Management will be assisting with the rollout and planning for the sites. The goal is to have them up and running by the end of January.

"Getting vaccines into arms as efficiently as possible is our top priority," said Council Chair Derek Young in a prepared statement. "Creating this plan now and providing easy to access locations for people to get vaccinated across the county will reduce life-altering injuries and ultimately save lives."

The locations of the mass vaccination sites have not been determined yet, but officials said several criteria are being considered including proximity to public transportation, equitable access and geographic diversity. 

The county's goal is to administer 4,600 vaccines a day at full capacity.

The plan also includes up to eight mobile vaccination sites and "drop teams" that can bring vaccinations to those unable to travel, such as people living in assisted living facilities, adult family homes and other priority groups. 

The announcement comes just a day after Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the state is officially in Phase 1B of the vaccine administration plan. Phase 1B includes people 65 and older, and people who are 50 years old and living in multigenerational homes. 

Inslee also said the state will be setting up four mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in central and eastern Washington as soon as next week.