Emergency vaccination clinics open overnight to keep doses from going to waste

SEATTLE — Some people got out of bed overnight to get vaccinated for COVID-19 to keep vaccines from going to waste.

The clinics were set up when Kaiser Permanente had 1,600 doses that needed to be used by 5:30 a.m. Friday due to an issue that allowed the vaccine to become warmed.

UW Medicine and Swedish hospitals were alerted by Kaiser Permanente at 9 p.m. Thursday and had to scramble make sure the vaccines were used.

Swedish received doses for its clinic at Seattle University’s site at Campion Hall. At 11 p.m., the hospital put out an urgent call on Twitter for people in Phase 1a or Phase 1b/Tier 1 to book an appointment to be vaccinated at a clinic from 11 p.m. Thursday to at least 2 a.m. Friday.

Within two hours, Swedish tweeted that all appointments were booked and that it couldn’t vaccinate anyone waiting in line that did not have an appointment.

The remaining vaccines were split between UW Medicine’s Northwest and Montlake hospitals.

Though UW Medicine contacted its clinical care partners, such as Public Health — Seattle & King County, to notify people in priority vaccine groups, there were no restrictions to be vaccinated at their clinics, so both young and old were eligible.

Overall, hundreds of people lined up at 10 overnight clinics. Additional staff, along with medics from the Seattle Fire Department, were brought in to give the shots.