Sequim Seniors Line Up for the Kill Shot That Nurses Are Refusing En Masse

By Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 NewsKIRO 7 Seattle21hFollow

SEQUIM, Wash. — The first mass vaccination site in the state launched in Sequim and brought long lines of seniors ready to get their shots.

“People were honking the horns and waving and rolling down the windows. It was like a party atmosphere,” said Brent Simcosky, director of health services for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

Their health network serves about 17,000 people, most of whom are not tribe members. Their first vaccination event of many planned was intended for Sequim seniors.

Thousands of seniors showed up — some camping out the night before — ready to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There was a guy who camped out in his VW camper van with the pop-up top. He was there at 8 p.m. the day before and had a BBQ grill out and was barbecuing hamburgers. It was like a tailgate party,” Simcosky said.

Simcosky said on Thursday, the day of their first vaccination event, he woke up at 4 a.m.

“Because I was worried about what the volume would be. (I) drove up and saw all the cars and I was like, ‘Uh-oh.’ We literally had cars clear out onto Highway 101, and it was clogging up the highway,” Simcosky said.

They were able to vaccinate 500 cars, or about 600 people. “We turned away 1500 cars,” Simcosky said. But now he says they know where to cut off the line of cars for the next event.

Simcosky says they chose to open the vaccine to seniors a little early because their rollout of the vaccine to Group 1a, primarily health care workers, was sluggish.

“To be honest with you, we were seeing maybe a 50% vaccination rate. So we were thinking, ‘Oh boy,’” he said.

So they teamed up with other groups in Clallam County — the fire district, police, and the Community Emergency Response Team — to open up vaccinations to the 70 and older age group a little early in Sequim.

The seniors flocked over.

“When the seniors came, they had their arms hanging out the window and they got their sleeves rolled up. They’re ready to go!” Simcosky said.

James Castell’s grandparents were in the line, and he captured the massive volume of cars with his drone.

“I couldn’t believe it. It looked like it went past town,” Castell said.

Castell says he and the kids used to see his grandparents all the time — they live close by — but not since the pandemic.

“It’s been really hard,” Castell said. “Because of the risk factor they’re probably the ones who’ve sacrificed the most, really quarantining, staying at home,” he said.

His grandparents waited about 90 minutes before getting turned away.

“They showed up, they were about 15 minutes late. I think they missed it by about 20 cars,” he said.

Other counties are also planning their mass vaccination sites. Pierce County announced some preliminary details this week about their plans.

“In Pierce County, we’re really excited,” said Jody Ferguson, the Pierce County Emergency Management director.

Ferguson said they’re planning to have three large mass vaccination sites in areas like large parking lots with the capacity to hold eight lanes of cars.

KIRO7 asked if Cheney Stadium or the Tacoma Dome were being considered.

“We’re not leaving anything off the table right now,” Ferguson said.

She said the holdup is primarily getting enough vaccine supply.

“We’re hoping to do 4600 vaccines a day as a starting point. So if we can get the supply chain moving, we should be ready to go,” Ferguson said.

The goal for Pierce County is to get the mass vaccination sites launched by the end of January or early February. Pierce County will also have more mobile vaccination clinics, similar to COVID test clinics, as well as “drop teams” to go into facilities to vaccinate people.

Comment: As these seniors sicken and die they will save the U.S. gov’t a fortune in Medicare and Social Security payments. This is what I really believe is behind the push to get seniors vaccinated first.

Tommy BeerForbes StaffBusinessUpdated Jan 3, 2021, 09:22pm EST


Despite the Covid-19 death count in the United States rapidly accelerating, a startlingly high percentage of health care professionals and frontline workers throughout the country—who have been prioritized as early receipts of the coronavirus vaccine—are reportedly hesitant or outright refusing to take it, despite clear scientific evidence that the vaccines are safe and effective.

Piedmont's Covid-19 Vaccine Campaign Begins In Turin
Nursing staff prepare the Covid-19 vaccine. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images) GETTY IMAGES


Earlier this week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he was “troubled” by the relatively low numbers of nursing home workers who have elected to take the vaccine, with DeWine stating that approximately 60% of nursing home staff declined the shot. 

Dr. Joseph Varon, chief of critical care at Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center, told NPR in December more than half of the nurses in his unit informed him they would not get the vaccine.

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Roughly 55 percent of surveyed New York Fire Department firefighters said they would not get the coronavirus vaccine, the Firefighters Association president said last month.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that hospital and public officials in Riverside, Calif., have been forced to figure out how best to allocate unused doses after an estimated 50% of frontline workers in the county refused the vaccine.

Fewer than half of the hospital workers at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Tehama County, Calif., were willing to be vaccinated, and around 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers have reportedly declined an opportunity to take the vaccine. 

Dr. Nikhila Juvvadi, the chief clinical officer at Chicago’s Loretto Hospital, said that a survey was administered in December, and 40% of the hospital staff said they would not get vaccinated.


recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 29% of healthcare workers were hesitant to receive the vaccine, citing concerns related to potential side effects and a lack of faith in the government to ensure the vaccines were safe. Frontline workers in the United States are disproportionately Black and Hispanic. The pandemic has taken an “outsized toll” on this segment of the population, which has reportedly accounted for roughly 65% of fatalities in cases in which there are race and ethnicity data. A study published by the journal The Lancet over the summer found “healthcare workers of color were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts” to test positive for the coronavirus. According to a Pew Research Center poll published in December, vaccine skepticism is highest among Black Americans, as less than 43% said they would definitely/probably get a Covid-19 vaccine. Dr. Juvvadi told NPR that “there’s no transparency between pharmaceutical companies or research companies — or the government sometimes — on how many people from” Black and Latino communities were involved in the research of the vaccine. Dr. Varon said that “the fact that [President] Trump is in charge of accelerating the process bothers” those individuals who refuse to be immunized, adding “they all think it’s meant to harm specific sectors of the population.” In an op-ed published in the New York Times earlier this week, emergency physicians Benjamin Thomas and Monique Smith wrote that “vaccine reluctance is a direct consequence of the medical system’s mistreatment of Black people” and past atrocities, such as the unethical surgeries performed by J. Marion Sims and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, best exemplifies “the culture of medical exploitation, abuse and neglect of Black Americans.” 


“I’ve heard Tuskegee more times than I can count in the past month — and, you know, it’s a valid, valid concern,” said Dr. Juvvadi.


Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a Friday interview that it’s “quite possible” the Covid-19 vaccine could be required for international travel and to attend school at some point in the future.


40 million. In early December, government officials said they planned to have 40 million doses available by the end of 2020, which would be enough to fully vaccinate 20 million Americans. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 3 million Americans have received the first dose of the vaccine, with 14 million doses have been distributed.


Fauci Says U.S. Considering Allowing More Americans To Get First Dose Of Covid-19 Vaccine With Amended Approach (Forbes) 

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