Appointments still required, eligibility verification changing at Snohomish County mass vaccination sites

The Snohomish Health District on Monday announced some changes in procedure for the COVID-19 mass vaccination sites operated by the county’s vaccine taskforce. While the sites will remain by appointment only for those eligible in the phased approach to vaccination, verification requirements for eligibility are changing.

As of Wednesday, March 31, the Washington State Department of Health is shutting down its Phase Finder tool (www.findyourphasewa.org) and it will no longer be required as proof of eligibility for vaccination appointments. Without that tool, and given the variety of people who are now eligible based on health, age, employment or living situation, the Snohomish County Health District said it is no longer practical for the vaccine taskforce to perform spot checks of eligibility as people arrive for first dose appointments at the mass vaccination sites. Following state guidance, officials will rely on self-attestation from patients that they are currently eligible. Eligibility information will continue to be provided at http://bit.ly/snocovaccine.

Although Phase Finder is shutting down on March 31, people who signed up before then for a notification when they become eligible will still get that notification, according to the state health department.

The vaccination sites continue to be by appointment only, and people will be asked to provide verification that they have an appointment as well as a form of ID to show that they are the person for whom the appointment was booked. If it is a second dose appointment, patients should also come prepared with documentation of their first dose. If they’ve lost their vaccination card from their first dose appointment, they can download their vaccination record from http://wa.myir.net.

Everyone is strongly urged to follow the phased approach to vaccination, the health district said. If you are not eligible, you should not sign up for an appointment at this time. The demand for vaccine remains higher than the number of doses the county is receiving. Getting vaccinated ahead of your turn may take an appointment away from someone who is higher risk than yourself. This includes elderly residents, individuals with multiple underlying conditions, and high-risk workers in congregate settings, many of whom still are seeking vaccination appointments.

Eligibility continues to expand and all adults are expected to be eligible no later than May 1.

People should not arrive at the mass vaccination sites without an appointment seeking extra doses. New appointments are made available at the registration links at http://bit.ly/snocovaccine, and updates on available appointments are shared via Snohomish Health District and Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management social media channels.

The vaccine taskforce also is taking additional steps to avoid confusion around second dose-only clinics. People who received their first shot at mass vaccination sites, including Arlington and Monroe, will begin receiving invitation-only links to register for their second dose appointment. They should watch for that email near the target date for their second dose. This is a new tool through the registration system that ties the second dose registration to email addresses. Each patient will be able to register but the link cannot be shared and used to book appointments beyond those second dose patients. This should help prevent confusion around people booking first dose appointments at second dose-only clinics.

This is a new feature in the registration system. If invitation-only links become problematic for patients registering for their second dose appointment, the taskforce may return to sending clinic links that are not protected by tying registration to email addresses, with a request not to share those links.

For those who do not have email access, the COVID-19 call center for Snohomish County is assisting with second dose registration. The call center is at 425-339-5278, and is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information on mass vaccination sites in Snohomish County, including eligibility guidelines, visit http://bit.ly/snocovaccine.

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