This weekend’s “long read” is a collection of three shorter reads: a trio of research papers on COVID-19. The virus — and the vaccines — have now been around long enough that the medical research community has large and diverse enough data sets to start to really understand this virus. Along the way, researchers are discovering some fascinating and mystifying things.
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
COVID-19 Vaccination Locations/Info & Pop-Ups
Appointments No Longer Required at Lumen Field, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle Vaccination Sites — Those who live or work in King County can now walk up or drive to three City of Seattle COVID-19 vaccination sites without an appointment. People who have not yet received a dose can now receive their first or second dose at three locations: Lumen Field, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle. At the time of vaccination, if required, patients will be signed up for an appointment for their second dose.
According to the Mayor’s Office the locations and times of the centers are:
Lumen Field Event Center: 330 S Royal Brougham Way, Seattle, WA 98134; Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Rainier Beach Vaccination Hub: 8702 Seward Park Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118; Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
West Seattle Vaccination Hub: 2801 SW Thistle St., Seattle, WA 98126; Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. On Wednesday, May 5, this hub will be open until 7:30 p.m.
Earlier this week Carolyn Bick wrote an excellent article on the CDC’s decision to “pause” use of the COVID vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson after reports of a handful of cases of blood clots in the several days following vaccination. This week’s Long Reads dives into the science of why the CDC made that controversial move, and what happens next.
Editors’ Note: This article will be updated periodically as new information becomes available. New sections will be dated for your convenience.
Beginning Thursday, April 15, everyone in Washington 16 years or older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Chances are that’s you. So now that you qualify for a shot, how do you actually get one?
The good news: There are plenty of places around South Seattle and South King County that offer the vaccines. Vaccination is also free of charge, no matter where you get it or whether or not you have insurance.
The not-so-good news: Finding a shot — at least for now — might take some time. Millions of people across the state have become eligible in recent weeks, and waitlists are getting long. The region is also forecast to see a near-term shortage in vaccines as manufacturers scramble to ramp up production.
Now that we’re a few months into 2021, the final statistics on the dumpster fire that was 2020 are now trickling out. This week’s long read — admittedly not a very long one but an important one for us to reflect on — is a look at the leading causes of death last year.
You may be surprised to learn that COVID-19 was only #3 on the list — and a distant third at that. That said, the COVID pandemic still had an obvious and outsized impact on nearly every aspect of the mortality figures.
For the daughter of two custodians, a process that started with bringing coffee and bread to custodians in their workplaces one year ago swelled into an advocacy and lobbying effort. She wants to ensure that custodians receive preference for the COVID-19 vaccine — as well as better wages, hazard pay, and increased status in society.
Evalynn Fae Taganna Romano identifies as Filipino and white. Her mother emigrated to Seattle from the Philippines. Her father, who died almost two decades ago, was born in Seattle but was the son of immigrants from Turkey. Romano lives in Beacon Hill and is a graduate student studying public health and social work at the University of Washington (UW).
Her year of helping and valuing custodians “made me think about how human lives are valued in our society and custodians, many of whom are immigrants and refugees, are often overlooked,” she told the Emerald in an interview.
In an online press conference on Thursday, March 4, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that in the coming weeks the State would make essential workers, such as agricultural workers, grocery store employees, and law enforcement officers, eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on March 22. This comes a day after he announced, upon prompting from the Biden administration, to immediately make all educators, school staff, and child care workers eligible to be vaccinated.
The State of Washington released a report on Feb. 10 showing that white people are getting a higher proportion of the limited amount of COVID-19 vaccines than other races and ethnicities in the state.
For Trang Tu, a community activist who cares for her elderly mother — who has dementia and needs 24-hour care — getting a vaccine presented numerous hurdles. Tu eventually got a last-minute tip from a mass vaccination site in Snohomish county, a long drive from her home south of Rainier Beach, and her mother is now vaccinated. “It’s not just limited supply of vaccines itself,” Tu said. “Access is not equal. It favors people who have time, an internet connection, transportation, and a certain language.”
Tu’s mother was able to overcome systemic barriers because, Tu says, “I have some privilege: I have a computer, I have a car, I can do advocacy.” Many other BIPOC people aren’t as fortunate.