Employee vaccination clinics provide over 1,800 COVID-19 vaccine doses

As the COVID-19 vaccine became more widely available, it became clear that to best support essential workers who have complex schedules and shifts, King County would need to bring the vaccines to worksites.

Through a collaborative partnership with Public Health – Seattle and King County, their vaccine partners, and King County labor unions, onsite clinics provided 1,877 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to County employees and their loved ones between April 9, 2021 and Oct. 2, 2021.

King County Metro led the way, hosting 31 clinics that provided a total of 1,582 doses. In January 2021, Metro’s Employee Vaccine (MEV) team first began planning for potential clinics. In March, representatives from the MEV team joined a County-wide vaccine team represented by the Department of Human Resources, the Office of Labor Relations, Public Health, and the Executive Office. Together this workgroup collaborates on the development and communication of vaccine clinics and mandate communications for employees.

As the initial clinic was being developed, Metro worked with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health to develop a pre-registration process for vaccination appointments. King County Information Technology (KCIT), in coordination with Metro IT, developed a phone system to rotate calls to open lines for trained Metro volunteers to assist employees with registration. On April 9, 2021, the first onsite clinic provided 576 doses to Metro employees.

“Registration was bumpy at first, but as we registered employees, we heard the relief in their voices,” said Gay Boyce, Special Project Manager with Metro. “At the April 9th clinic we had up to 100 employees per hour moving through the vaccine clinic at our Metro Training and Safety facility in Tukwila.”

In response to the Executive’s Vaccine Mandate, more vaccination clinics were held at dozens of worksites across Metro, the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, the Department of Natural Resources and Parks, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Local Services.  Many clinics were open to all King County employees, their families and loved ones, and our regional partners like the City of Seattle and Sound Transit.

Metro’s Wellness Manager, Sam Souffront, worked tirelessly with Public Health, providing guidance, education, and support to “Metro Wellness Champions” — employees who visited worksites to assist in educating, answering, or directing staff to places where they could find accurate vaccine information. Public Health also provided virtual education through their Speakers Bureau and set up educational resources for staff with experts from Fred Hutchinson. Many Public Health vaccine partners such as Discovery Health, Pliable, University of Washington Medicine, and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health staffed several clinics during a variety of work shifts to meet employees in their workspace.

The clinics were also supported by the countless employees, volunteers, and labor partners who communicated education opportunities, showed up to support peers at onsite clinics, helped provide guidance to staff with vaccine questions, and most recently offered to help staff in uploading their vaccine records.

“I am inspired and humbled by how this cross-functional County team came together in real time to support employee vaccines on-site,” said Megan Pedersen, Director of the Office of Labor Relations and Project Lead. “It was a pure demonstration of our values – we are one team and leading with equity in terms of prioritizing the needs of our front line, essential workers.”

King County is especially grateful to employees and their family members and loved ones who have taken the important step to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

For more information about getting vaccinated in King County, visit www.kingcounty.gov/vaccine.