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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Seattle Becomes First Major U.S. City To Fully Vaccinate 70 Percent Of Residents 12 And Older

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

On Weds., Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that Seattle is the first major American city to fully vaccinate 70 percent of its residents 12 years-old and older.

According to officials, Seattle has surpassed the City of San Francisco which had been leading the country in vaccinations and the State of Vermont which is leading all states in vaccination rates. Seattle also exceeded Governor Inslee’s goal in vaccinating 70 percent of 16 and older residents and President Biden’s goal in vaccinating 70 percent of adults who are 18 or older. Currently, 78 percent of the Seattle population 12 years-old and older has begun the vaccination process, but has not yet completed the series, which is also one of the nation’s highest vaccinations rates.

“When we launched our vaccination effort earlier this year, I said that I wanted to Seattle to become the first major American city to fully vaccinate 70 percent of its residents. Today, I am incredibly proud that we have reached that goal,” said Durkan. “Seattle is America’s most vaccinated major city, and it would not have been possible without our residents’ commitment to protecting themselves, their loved ones, and our entire community.

“Now that we have reached community protection, we can lead the nation in safely reopening and recovering in earnest. Seattleites – get outside and support a local small business, help revive our historic arts and cultural scene, and enjoy our unparalleled Seattle summers safely,” added Durkan. “Even with this exciting milestone, our work is not yet done. Please, if you know someone who has not yet been vaccinated, do everything you can to help them get their shot.”

City and countywide, COVID-19 case rates and COVID-related deaths are falling. Seattle continues to have the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of every major city. Countywide, an estimated 95 percent of all new cases are in individuals who have not started their vaccine series.

President Biden and the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently launched the Mayors Challenge, which encourages mayors across the country to increase vaccination rates in their cities, in order to help reach the federal government’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of all adults by July 4. More than 90 mayors across the country are participating in the challenge, including Mayor Durkan and the City of Seattle.

To-date, the City of Seattle has administered over 249,000 vaccinations, which amounts to more than 131,000 individuals. These vaccinations have occurred at 88 Adult Family Homes, 110 affordable housing buildings, 24 community partner pop-ups, two vulnerable youth-serving organizations, 17 city sporting events with MLS and MLB partners, local breweries, business districts, and the five City-affiliated fixed vaccination sites. Approximately 48 percent of those vaccinated by the City identify as BIPOC communities.

“From the moment we received approval to begin administering vaccinations, we knew that hope was on the horizon. As we reach this week’s milestone of fully vaccinating 70 percent of our community, I am reflecting on all the hard work it has taken to get us to this point. I extend my gratitude to every single resident who chose to receive the vaccination – you are making a difference, and because of you we are closer to reopening,” said Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. “I also want to thank the firefighters, paramedics and professional staff at Seattle Fire and our partners at AMR, UW Medicine and Swedish, who have worked tirelessly to serve our community during this pandemic. Though our West Seattle and Rainier Beach vaccination hubs are closing in June, we will still have many opportunities for our remaining residents to get vaccinated through pop-up clinics and our SODO site.”

Now that Seattle has reached a level of community protection needed to keep the majority of our residents safe from COVID-19, officials say that the City and its partners will begin to launch new efforts to throughout the summer to support Seattle’s reopening and recovery. These efforts will include supporting local small retailers and restaurants, arts and culture programming, and bolstering transit use. The City will have more information on these reopening and recovery efforts in the coming weeks.

Residents who have not yet completed the vaccination process can still get vaccinated at the Lumen Field Event Center (closes end of day June 12), Rainier Beach Vaccination Hub (closes end of day June 23), and the SODO Testing and Vaccination Site, which will remain in operation well into summer. In addition, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) Mobile Vaccination Teams will continue to host pop-up vaccination clinics in neighborhoods throughout Seattle. Residents can also visit https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/ to find a provider near them. For more information, including how to get vaccinated today, visit the City’s vaccination website at www.seattle.gov/vaccine. The site contains vaccination information in seven languages, and in-language assistance is also available over the phone.

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