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Delta variant fears are driving more patients to Pierce County vaccination clinics, providers say

The highly contagious Delta variant seems to be triggering some people to get a COVID-19 vaccination who had previously been hesitating.

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — The highly contagious Delta variant seems to be triggering some people to get a COVID-19 vaccination who had previously been hesitating.  

In Pierce County, it's too early for hard data, but workers at local clinics say they've seen more people coming in. 

“We need to just break the virus's back and the way to do it is give us your arm,” Randy Eveland, a provider at a Pierce County vaccination clinic, said.

There are several walk-up clinics around Pierce County. At one spot at the Lakewood Towne Center, patients don't need an appointment and language translation is available. Patients can pick which vaccine they want and a therapy puppy is standing by, ready to take away the sting of the shot.

The ease of access seems to be paying off. 

"We're seeing some uptick,” Eveland explained.  “People are beginning to take this very seriously now.”

Frank McDaniel said he wanted to get vaccinated so he could visit family out of state and safely attend football games but had concerns over how contagious the Delta variant seems to be.

“I don't like the fact that we got more covid cases spiking. People I don't think are being careful enough after they've vaccinated so if people continue to wear their masks hopefully we can take it down to a level where we can eradicate it,” McDaniel said.

Mobile clinics are still open all over Pierce County. Clinicians say there's a lot at stake. Some medical professionals are even willing to do house calls.

“The delta variant seems to, for some reason, have a higher viral load and that gets to the people quicker and makes them sicker,” Eveland said.

Friday Dr. Jeff Duchin of Seattle King County Public noted 1,500 people had received a first dose in the last 24 hours alone, which was on par with one of our highest volume days that month.