The Lumen Field Event Center will serve as one of three mass Covid-19 vaccination sites in Seattle, the city announced on Monday. Although supplies of the vaccine remain limited and are mostly only available to those 65 and older, the SoDo location will eventually have the capacity to administer 150,000 shots a week.
In the near term, however, things will be starting out considerably slower. First, the city will open two other mass vaccination sites at the Southwest Athletic Complex in West Seattle and the Atlantic City Boat Ramp in Rainier Beach. Those will open today with an initial capacity of 1,000 shots a week and build up to 1,000 shots a day. Appointments will only be available through a referral initially, meaning there’s no publicly available way to sign up.
The Lumen Field site is expected to come online in mid-March and will start off administering 5,000 shots a week and only be open two days a week. Unlike the two other sites which will be staffed by the Seattle Fire Department, the Lumen Field location will be run by Swedish Hospital. The city will not pay rent to First & Goal, but it will cover the cost things like utilities and won’t charge for parking.
This all comes on the heels of a report based on New York Times data which put Seattle’s King County as one of the nation’s best performers in terms of Covid-19 prevention.
One year after King County had the first COVID outbreak in the US, we now have the second-lowest COVID rate of the 100 most populous counties in the nation. That is a remarkable feat and a testament to everyone in @KingCountyWA's hard work and sacrifice for a year now. pic.twitter.com/jr58sM3C6W— Dow Constantine (@kcexec) February 28, 2021
Despite what feels like a consistent stream of positive news on the Covid-19 front, it remains unclear when Seattle Sounders fans might be welcomed back to Lumen Field. The Sounders have declined to give a timeline, in part because the supply of the vaccine remains severely limited.
In order to get to 150,000 weekly shots, the city must first be able to gain access to them. While progress is being made — more than 2 million doses have been administered each of the past few days and Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine was officially cleared for use over the week — that level of supply would be a several fold increase over what’s available now. As of last week, King County had administered a total of about 330,000 doses and received fewer than 550,000 while receiving about 80,000 shots a week.