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Where can I get vaccinated more quickly in Washington?

Some rural counties have shorter waits and more COVID-19 vaccine.

GRAYS HARBOR, Wash. — Appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations fill up quickly, usually within a few hours, in metro areas like Everett and Seattle.

But if you're willing to travel, you might be able to get your shot much more quickly.

Along the Washington coast in Grays Harbor County, there is more vaccine than they can use right now. On Friday alone, they have 900 doses available and room for 400 appointments.

News of blood clots associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be scaring people away, even though the vaccine currently used in Grays Harbor is Moderna.

Grays Harbor Public Health Director Mike McNickle said that's a problem.

"My concern is that if we don't get to herd immunity, we'll never get over the COVID pandemic because we'll still have these pockets of folks who will get sick," said McNickle. "That means a return to isolation and quarantine for who knows how long down the road."

With everyone 16 and older now eligible for a vaccine, health officials across the state have been expecting a surge in demand, but that hasn't happened everywhere.

RELATED: What Washington parents should know about COVID-19 vaccines for 16- and 17-year-olds

Waits of a week or more are the norm in Seattle, but in Skagit County, you can still get an appointment in just a day or two.

In fact, the mass vaccination site at the Skagit County Fairgrounds is seeing 5% to 10% of the appointments being canceled almost every day.

That means there are usually extra doses available to anyone who wants them. You can call the Skagit Public Health Hotline at 360-416-1500 for more information.

"We're all one big community in this effort," said Skagit County spokeswoman Laura Han.

She reminds us it is OK to cross county lines to get vaccinated, and rural counties may be your best bet.

"We'll vaccinate people from Snohomish County, Whatcom County, Island County the San Juans," said Han. "If you want to drive over from Chelan, we will vaccinate you as long as you are a Washington state resident, but don't drive to a small, rural clinic that's specifically targeting farm workers to take a dose that may not be meant for you."

A trip to Skagit County for a vaccine could bring the added bonus of a visit to the annual tulip festival currently underway.

There is hope that traveling to get a shot could create a sort of "vaccination tourism."

With warmer weather finally here, the beaches in Grays Harbor are calling.

Health officials invite vaccination travelers to give an economic shot in the arm to local businesses.

"As long as folks follow the same rules everybody else does, social distancing, wear a mask and try not to have large gatherings, we do encourage people to come down and enjoy the beach and have lunch," said McNickle.

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