King County corrections officers line up for vaccines at clinic

By Noah Haglund, DAJD communications specialist

Corrections Officer Marcus Barrow gets a shot from Employee Health staff at the King County Correctional Facility. (Photo: Noah Haglund)

One by one, King County corrections officers rolled up a sleeve to get a dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Officer Marcus Barrow was among those attending a June 15 clinic at the downtown Seattle jail. Dropping in during his shift helped Barrow fit in the appointment between work and family obligations.

“I saw an opportunity and I took it,” Barrow said. “It was an easy, quick, painless process.”

Employee Health staff hosted the clinic, giving doses to 13 employees at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle. The next day, they put on a similar event at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Another 15 employees got a jab there.

These were just two of several events coordinated by the Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention (DAJD), with government partners, to make it easy for King County’s essential workers to get vaccinated.

Other opportunities include inviting DAJD employees to Metro’s Family Vaccination Day in Tukwila on June 26. And since March, DAJD’s HR Department has been scheduling COVID-19 appointments directly for employees at ShoWare Center in Kent, a King County mass-vaccination site across the street from the Maleng Regional Justice Center.

Corrections Officer John Hazelwood examines his arm after getting the vaccine. (Photo: Noah Haglund)

“Providing employees with access to COVID vaccinations is an important priority for our Department,” said Peter Hu, DAJD’s HR manager. “The vaccination protects not only the staff themselves, but also their coworkers, family members and people in custody.”

DAJD’s Juvenile Division has taken a different approach to on-site vaccinations. The Patricia H. Clark Children & Family Justice Center has been working with mobile vaccination teams from the Seattle Fire Department to inoculate detained youth against COVID-19. Youth must have parental consent to get vaccinated.

Juvenile detention officers and other staff also are invited to get vaccinated at those events. During Seattle Fire’s most recent visit, on June 18, two youths and three employees got a COVID-19 shot. Seattle Fire first visited on April 20, when their teams administered doses to nine youths and three employees. The partnership is ongoing.

For more information on getting vaccinated in King County, click here.