King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn on Monday introduced legislation that would request the State of Washington to increase the number of COVID-19 vaccines allocated to King County under the Department of Health Vaccine Distribution Plan.
“The current allocation of vaccines to King County is simply inequitable,” Dunn said. “Large swaths of King County’s residents who are eligible to receive a vaccine are unable because we are currently not receiving a proportional share from the state.”
King County has only received 23-25% of Washington State’s vaccine supply, far short of the number of King County residents eligible to receive the vaccine as designated by the Washington State Department of Health and even shorter of meeting the needs of the roughly 30% of Washington State’s population who reside in the county.
“This is a far cry from the progress we need to reach our most vulnerable residents and those currently serving on the front lines of the pandemic,” Dunn added. “We need to continue to reconcile the gap between our current allocation and the percent of the population we serve.”
The situation is exacerbated by the number of essential workers who have been provided the vaccine within King County but who reside in adjacent counties.
An increase in vaccines would allow King County to activate the help of multiple private, like Starbucks, Microsoft, and Costco, who are poised to assist with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“King County has been a leader for the state as well as the country when it comes to navigating this pandemic. Because of this unique position we are in, with growing partnerships between public and private entities and increasing infrastructure, the state needs to make sure they are effectively, efficiently, and equitably allocating these vaccines to those receiving them in King County,” Dunn said.