NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccines for the Masses, Three Libraries to Open, a Reparations Fund, & More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 


(Photo: Alex Garland)

The Latest on COVID Vaccines

Masses Become Eligible April 15, Supply May Not Immediately Meet Demand — According to Public Health — Seattle & King County, providers have delivered one million vaccines in the county (this number does not reflect the total number of people fully vaccinated). Furthermore, over half a million people — or 29.5% of the population 16 years and older — are fully vaccinated (as of April 12), meaning if the vaccine they received required more than one dose, they have received both doses. 

The overarching goal is to vaccinate 1.5 million, or 70%, in King County by the end of the year. But Tuesday, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was “paused,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while investigations into a rare blood-clotting issue associated with the vaccine are underway. This comes on the heels of a manufacturing error that had already disrupted supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Yet our regional goal still begins to feel more tangible as on April 15, all Washington residents (16 and up) will be eligible to get vaccinated and supplies of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are slowly increasing.

Phased Roll-Out Nearly Over, Those 16 and Up Can Now Begin to Schedule Vaccines — Washingtonians are already currently able to schedule vaccine appointments for April 15 and beyond with some providers if they will become eligible when we move away from the phased roll-out plan this week. Whether you are eligible now or will be eligible on April 15, you should first check with your primary care provider to find out if they are scheduling appointments for COVID vaccines. You can alternately sign up for the City of Seattle vaccine notification list.

International Community Health Services (ICHS) continues to open new appointments for non-patients, usually on Tuesdays after 11 a.m., for their New Holly and Bush Asia Center locations. Note: They have had some issues with the Solv online appointment scheduler and have had to cancel and/or reschedule some patients as a result. However, they continue to be a valuable community resource for those seeking vaccines and people are encouraged to continue using their online system to schedule their vaccines (patients may call). You can also call UW Medicine (844-520-8700) to get on their waitlist, or use the State’s Vaccine Locator to find a provider. SeaMar also offers vaccines at their South Park location. Go to their website to find a list of same-day vaccine availability at their locations (they do walk-ins, so plan to arrive early and wait in line if you go on April 15 or beyond).

Getting first (and second doses) of the COVID vaccine will likely continue to be a tricky process to navigate due in part to the sheer number of people looking to make appointments and the constant changes in supply and appointment availability of providers, not to mention the many different systems in use to get people connected to appointments/vaccines (and the major setback of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause). That all said, PHSKC Public Health Officer Jeff Duchin on Twitter warns, “The potential for a severe surge in cases & hospitalizations remains real until more of us are vaccinated … Get vaccinated as soon as you can!”

Note: Our own Ben Adlin wrote up a guide for folks who will become eligible this week. Find more valuable info in the article.


Speaking of Vaccines: SEIU6 to Host Essential Worker Vaccine Clinic

From SEIU6: “SEIU6, in partnership with Discovery Health, will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for members on April 17th and 18th. In an effort to remove barriers of access for our largely immigrant, majority BIPOC union, SEIU6’s clinic will be held just days after vaccine eligibility opens for all Washingtonians age 16 and up. Washington janitors and security officers were excluded from earlier vaccine eligibility phases despite having worked on the frontlines of the pandemic for over a year.”


Zenia Javalera, SEIU6 president, and Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda will be in attendance at the Saturday, April 17, clinic beginning at 1 p.m. (3720 Airport Way South). Eligible for the clinic are SEIU6 members who are janitors, security officers, and airport workers, says the SEIU6 press release. Eligible SEIU6 members can register for the clinic by calling 206-448-7348.


Members of Rise Up! Action Band perform outside of the Beacon Hill Branch of the Seattle Public Library (Photo: Jessie McKenna)

Seattle Public Library Will Open Beacon Hill, Southwest Branches for “Limited In-Building Services” Starting April 27

Beginning April 27, for the first time since Seattle Public Library (SPL) closed for services within its physical locations on March 20, 2020, three branches of SPL — the Beacon Hill, Southwest, and the Lake City branches — will open with “limited in-building services.” Learn more about this exciting shift toward normalcy for our community at http://www.spl.org/InBuilding.


The Seattle Seahawks on their home field about to score a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. (Photo: Jessie McKenna)

Seahawks Surprise Students with Savings Accounts to Educate on Financial Literacy

In order to inspire kids about the importance of savings, on April 8, two players from the Seattle Seahawks met with students from Aki Kurose Middle School and Meany Middle School in an online call to provide students with a free $40 savings account and present information on financial literacy. KJ Wright and Bobby Wagner visited the schools via Zoom to talk about managing money as part of Financial Literacy Month, in cooperation with the Black-owned personal finance app Goalsetter.

From the event organizer: “A study released in 2017 showed that Black and Hispanic communities were on track to have zero net worth by 2053 and 2073, respectively. The impact of the pandemic on these communities has likely accelerated that timeline. By not educating communities about the importance of financial literacy, we will be on the fast track to squandering the massive buying power that these communities have.

“Kids who have savings accounts in their names are 6X more likely to go to college and 4X more likely to own stocks by the time they are young adults. We have an opportunity to prepare our children for a lifetime of financial freedom if we reach them early and teach them in a way that they can relate to.

“Goalsetter teaches kids savings habits early by letting them save for goals they care about, and also pairs that with engaging financial education. The app includes fun quizzes that are based on popular culture, so kids are excited about learning financial literacy in a way that they have never been drawn to before.”


UW School of Medicine Seeks Volunteers for Respiratory Study

The Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine is seeking volunteers — especially BIPOC people and essential workers — for a study that will use Apple Watches to detect warning signs of acute respiratory infections and their connections to COVID-19 test results. Participants, if selected, will receive a free Apple Watch. 

From the Institute: 
(Begin quote.)

Why is this study being conducted?
We are working with Apple to explore how physiological changes detected by Apple Watch, like heart rate, blood oxygen, etc., could serve as early signs or symptoms of acute respiratory infections. This will be the first of its kind study that will allow us to draw a relationship between associated symptoms, signals from Apple Watch and iPhone, and test results for COVID-19.

Who can participate in the study?
Recruitment is currently prioritizing participants that may have higher than normal risk of respiratory illness because of frequent exposure to other people through work or other activities, health conditions, or other factors. People interested in participating in the Apple Respiratory Study should visit www.seattleflu.org/applerespiratorystudy to learn more about the study and, if interested, complete the screening questionnaire to see if they’re eligible.

How will participants’ privacy be protected in the study?
Participant privacy is a top priority, which is one of the reasons we chose to work with Apple given its commitment to user privacy. Data will be stored in systems with strong security controls designed to protect the data. Apple will not have access to any study data that could directly identify participants.

Why would people participate in this study?
This represents an opportunity to participate in a historic scientific research project to better understand how leading-edge technology can help identify potential health risks for respiratory diseases in individuals. Results from these tests could help identify the spread of the germs (viruses and bacteria) in the community. Data also will help researchers in advancing the understanding of how heart rate, sleep, activity, and other data collected in the Study relate to symptoms of infection and may help others in the future. There is no cost to participants.

What will the participant experience look like?
To participate in the study, participants will need to wear their Apple Watch, complete weekly and monthly surveys on the Apple Research app about illness symptoms and recovery, lifestyle, as well as provide self-collected nasal swabs in order to test germs (viruses and bacteria) including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This study will also utilize reminders such as handwashing through the Apple Watch and will seek to learn how behavioral interventions like these could prevent one’s likelihood of developing viral infections. 

(End quote.)


For more info, visit www.seattleflu.org/applerespiratorystudy.


Decolonizing Wealth Project “Liberated Capital” Opportunity — Funding for Reparations 💰


From the source:
“Decolonizing Wealth Project is an Indigenous and Black-led racial justice organization that envisions a world where racial equity has become a societal norm — where new systems ensure everyone can live their best lives, thrive in their cultures, and heal from generations of colonial trauma. Our work aims to disrupt the existing systems of moving and controlling capital by offering truth, reconciliation, and healing from the ails of colonization through education, radical reparative giving, and narrative change.

“Our fund, Liberated Capital, is excited to announce a $1 million funding opportunity to support local, regional and national movement building and advocacy efforts for reparations. We’re aiming for this to be a multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative to support systemic and policy change efforts that return wealth to impacted individuals.”


View the RFP and Submit a proposal by first registering for an account on JustFund (or logging in to an existing account) and then, once logged in, going to https://portal.justfund.us/o/rfps/207. Learn more about the Liberated Capital fund and get in touch with the Decolonizing Wealth Project on their website.


Before you move on to the next story …
Please consider that the article you just read was made possible by the generous financial support of donors and sponsors. The Emerald is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet with the mission of offering a wider lens of our region’s most diverse, least affluent, and woefully under-reported communities. Please consider making a one-time gift or, better yet, joining our Rainmaker Family by becoming a monthly donor. Your support will help provide fair pay for our journalists and enable them to continue writing the important stories that offer relevant news, information, and analysis. 
Support the Emerald!