Well that was fast. After months of supply shortages and rampant vaccine hunting, Seattle has developed a new problem in its race to protect residents and workers from Covid-19: demand.
As of this morning, the city still had more than 15,000 appointments available this week at its vaccination sites across the city. The mayor's office had previously announced that an influx of federally provided doses would increase the local allocation this week to 52,000, the most in a seven-day span yet. About 38,600 of those shots were reserved for first doses; in the prior two weeks, Seattle had received a total of 33,100 doses allocated for initial jabs. This was a major boost, one that Jenny Durkan and company reported could help Seattle reach its goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the city's residents and workers by the end of May—if "public demand for vaccine continues."
It's a big "if." We knew at some point supply would outstrip demand. Politicians and public health officials had prepped us. Still, it was difficult to fathom a Seattle with abundant appointments while pondering the feasibility of a Yakima site run when shots were in such short supply. Now, the mayor is tweeting out pleas for locals to scoop up appointment slots. It's all a bit dizzying.
Seattle may yet avert the perils of vaccine hesitancy. A U.S. Census Bureau survey in March found that the city had the most vaccine enthusiasm of any metro area in the country. Perhaps the city will soon test the Lumen Field Event Center's capacity to conduct 22,000 vaccinations in a single day. We may need to: It increasingly seems like we'll need more than 70 percent of the populace fully vaccinated if we want to reach community immunity. So far, an estimated 61.5 percent of Seattle residents have gotten at least one shot; nearly 35 percent are fully vaccinated.
Want to join the herd but haven't received the city's variety of digital nudges? Here's where you can sign up for an appointment. If you received your first shot elsewhere, you can still sign up for a second dose at one of the city's sites.