‘We want to beat this virus as quickly as possible.’ New mass-vax effort at Tacoma Dome opens Tuesday; will operate daily until June

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Pierce county’s COVID-19 numbers are still trending the wrong way every day. The Tacoma/Pierce Co. Health Department says the number of people infected hasn’t soared to the current levels since they spiked last November.

Experts say you can’t put out these kinds of infectious fires with vaccines, but Pierce County is going to try arming as many people as it can against coronavirus as fast as it can, with a new mass-vaccination effort.

Pierce County’s Department of Emergency Management is opening a mass vaccination site at the Tacoma Dome for six straight weeks starting Tuesday, April 27. The plan of the event is to vaccinate at least 1,170 people each day (with more doses available if there is more daily supply) and get 34,000 people fully vaccinated.

According to a news release, Pierce County plans to offer the Pfizer vaccine so that this clinic can serve anyone 16 and older. A parent or guardian must be present with 16- and 17-year-olds wanting to get the vaccine.

The site will operate seven days a week, available as a drive-up or walk-up.

“We want to beat this virus as quickly as possible to help our community,” said Pierce County Emergency Management’s Mike Halliday. “We want to get the virus on its heels, and we want to best it.”

Pierce County will continue to operate vaccination sites - including second-dose events - in other parts of the county while at the Tacoma Dome.

To register for these events, people can go to FindYourCovidShot.com and pick the day they want to get vaccinated. If people need assistance signing up, they can call 253-798-8900 for help. Families signing up on the same day can come to the earliest appointment and get vaccinated, but each eligible person must have an appointment.

During the first three weeks, Pierce County will only do first-dose vaccinations. Those participants will return the last three weeks at the Tacoma Dome for their second dose. The second dose will be scheduled while the participants are on-site getting their first dose.

Pierce Transit is offering free bus rides to people traveling to or from their vaccine appointments. Pierce Transit’s Route 42 runs in front of the Tacoma Dome, where people with appointments can walk from the bus stop to the walk-up vaccination station at the site. In addition, Tacoma Dome Station is just a five-minute walk from the Tacoma Dome. That location is served by Pierce Transit and Sound Transit buses, Sounder trains, and Link Light Rail.

Almost 481,000 people had been fully vaccinated in Pierce County as of Wednesday, April 21. That’s 51% of the county’s total population.