The first community-based mass vaccination site in East King County will open on April 12 thanks to a partnership led by the Snoqualmie Tribe.
The mass vaccination site will be located at Lake Sammamish State Park, and is a continuation of the Snoqualmie Tribe’s vaccination clinic, which first opened in February.
The mass vaccination site will be called the Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership. The cities of Issaquah and Sammamish, along with Eastside Fire and Rescue, will work together to administer shots.
Vaccines will be available by appointment only for people who qualify under current Washington state eligibility requirements. Snoqualmie Tribal members, staff and members of their household will continue to be eligible for appointments at the new clinic. A mobile vaccination unit run by Eastside Fire and Rescue will continue making visits to senior centers and other vulnerable populations who can’t make it to vaccine site.
“The Snoqualmie Tribe is proud to be able to provide these vaccines to individuals living in the Snoqualmie Tribe’s ancestral lands. In the 1860’s, the Snoqualmie people and other Northwest Natives experienced great loss as white settlers adopted a smallpox vaccine policy that discriminated against Natives,” Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman Robert De Los Angeles said. “Now, the Snoqualmie Tribe is exercising sovereignty through our Tribal values by caring for the people and communities living on our ancestral lands 160 years later during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The mass vaccination site will be run by Eastside Fire and Rescue personnel and trained volunteers. It can accommodate two rows of cars and has capacity to vaccinate up to 300 people a day, depending on vaccine supply.
Tribes across Washington state have been taking leading roles in distributing vaccines, both to Tribal members and the broader community. The Snoqualmie Tribe on March 18 held a vaccination event for people living on its ancestral lands. In Clallam County, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe expanded its vaccine eligibility to anyone 18 years or older on March 24.
Crosscut wrote that across the country, tribes have often been ahead of the curve in vaccinating their memberships. So much so that many have started offering vaccines to those beyond their communities. As sovereign nations, tribes are allowed to allocate vaccines as they see fit.
More information on how to register on the Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership, and the Snoqualmie Tribe, can be found here: https://snoqualmievaccine.snoqualmietribeweb.us/