A mass vaccination site may soon open at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center, the mayor said Tuesday afternoon.
On Jan. 9, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a $7 million allocation toward creating high volume COVID-19 vaccination sites and noted the two high-volume sites would be in South King County. At the time, county public health officials did not release site locations or timelines.
King County also is considering the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent as a vaccination site.
According to Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, Public Health — Seattle & King County officials toured the Performing Arts and Event Center (PAEC) on Jan. 19, though no formal decision has been announced yet.
“It’s my understanding they toured this site … and they’re going to be strongly considering moving forward with having this [location] be a vaccination site,” Ferrell said.
The Performing Arts and Event Center, located at 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S. in Federal Way, previously housed a King County election registration and voting site in November 2020.
Ample parking, a spacious lobby for patients to be monitored post-vaccination, and the facility’s central, visible placement make the location an ideal site, Mayor Jim Ferrell told the Mirror on Jan. 18.
“We’re going to do everything we can to help get this vaccine out to as many people as possible,” he said. Ferrell also supports having multiple vaccination sites in Federal Way if county resources allow.
“We offered up this [the PAEC] as the first ‘big’ location, but I’m hopeful there will be many more,” Ferrell said. At the Federal Way City Council meeting on Jan. 19, city leaders discussed the possibility. Parks Director John Hutton said the site will be appointment-only to avoid overwhelming the system or local roadways.
“The possibility of having a high-volume vaccine site located in Federal Way is going to save lives and help the City do all we can to bring an end to this pandemic of the Covid-19 virus,” said Ray Gross, emergency manager for the City of Federal Way.
In order to achieve President Joe Biden’s plan to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days in office, cities are going to need multiple vaccination locations, Ferrell said.
Other possible vaccination sites in the Federal Way area include the Federal Way Community Center and the Celebration Park parking lot if a drive-thru vaccination site was created.
A spokesperson for Public Health – Seattle & King County said there are not many specifics to add about the forthcoming high-volume vaccination sites yet, but confirmed sites are being planned for South King County.
Though the location has not yet been disclosed, the first South King County site “is on track to launch in early February,” said Gabriel Spitzer, communications specialist for the county public health department.
The planned sites will be designed to serve 500 to 2,000 people per day, depending on vaccine supply, he added.