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As of April 15, 2021, everyone in Washington age 16 and over is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Please visit our vaccine page for information on how to schedule an appointment.

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The plan to eliminate barriers and provide 23,000 COVID-19 vaccines

Posted on Mar. 23, 2021 ( comments)
Donations to the MultiCare COVID-19 Response Fund through MultiCare Foundations will help MultiCare implement a program to provide 23,000 COVID-19 vaccines to community members most in need of protection from the disease.

Frustrating. Challenging. Confusing. Competitive. These are some of the words people have used to describe their experience trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Imagine how much harder it is for people without access to transportation, a computer or the internet.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and especially vaccine distribution, continues to underscore health disparities. Some of the most common barriers to vaccination include access to reliable transportation, internet, technology, translation services and trusted information. These barriers can impact people most at-risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

MultiCare intends to remove these barriers with help from community partners and donors.

In March 2020, after an outpouring of support from community members, MultiCare Foundations created the MultiCare COVID-19 Response Fund to fund some of the most urgent COVID-19 needs. Donations have helped purchase safety equipment; in-house testing machines; technology to help critically-ill COVID-19 patients visit virtually with loved ones; research; and increased staff support through the Code Lavender program.

Now, the most urgent funding priority is equitable vaccine distribution.   

MultiCare’s COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Task Force includes staff from MultiCare’s Center for Health Equity and Wellness and Population Health teams. Members of the task force have created a plan to proactively reach and provide 23,000 vaccines to people who are most at-risk of COVID-19 and who may not otherwise receive the vaccine. The plan includes:

  • Offering vaccination clinics at community centers that serve racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants and refugees, limited English speaking populations and individuals experiencing houselessness
  • Working alongside trusted community leaders and organizations to provide targeted outreach to those disproportionately affected by COVID-19
  • Developing strategies to inform and schedule vaccine appointments for individuals who don’t have access to a computer or internet
  • Providing on-site language translation services at vaccination clinics
  • Providing COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible children ages 16 and older through the Mary Bridge Children’s Mobile Immunization Clinic

The cost to implement the plan is around $810,000 — about $22-$33 to reach and vaccinate someone who many not otherwise receive the COVID-19 vaccine. MultiCare Foundations launched an urgent fundraising campaign in March, inviting people to contribute to the program through the MultiCare COVID-19 Response Fund.

How will these donations make an impact?

Mary Quinlan, Executive Director of MultiCare’s Center for Health Equity and Wellness, makes it clear:

“It will save lives.”

You can help save lives and remove barriers to the COVID-19 vaccine with a gift to the MultiCare COVID-19 Response Fund today.

About The Author

MultiCare Health System
MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 20,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers. Learn more. More stories by this author
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