With a Little Help from our Friends . . . . .
Public-Private Partnerships: Working together to Vaccinate Washingtonians
As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out across the state, most of us are waiting patiently for our turn. Since Washington gets a limited number of doses at a time, we at DOH work very hard to get them out as quickly and fairly as possible. As you can imagine, this is a huge task, and we can’t do it alone. So, we teamed up with some world leaders in the areas of technology, business and healthcare.
We set up something called the COVID-19 Vaccine Action Command and Coordination System (VACCS) Center. The center is a public-private partnership to help COVID-19 vaccine efforts in Washington state. Public-private partnerships are when “public” government agencies work with privately-owned companies.
By partnering, we can combine resources to improve vaccine delivery across the state. And by combining our strengths, we can reach our goal of vaccinating 45,000 people a day.
Back in January, we asked Mr. Dan Laster to lead the newly formed VACCS Center. He has extensive experience in both the public sector and with private organizations. Before joining the DOH team, he worked with a global nonprofit organization known as PATH. There, he worked with other organizations to improve long-term public health solutions. Dan is very excited to lead our new VACCS Center. He is committed to “creating an extraordinary public-private partnership.” He says this will help deliver vaccines to Washington “in the safest, fastest, most equitable and efficient way.”
The center will help with technology and data, supply logistics, communications, and staffing and volunteering. Several corporations, healthcare groups, and labor unions have already signed up to help with VACCS. Here are some of our VACCS partners and how they are helping our vaccination efforts:
- Kaiser Permanente: Helps plan mass vaccination clinics and with vaccine distribution to health care providers.
- Starbucks: Shares design expertise about effectively serving people.
- Microsoft: Helps with technology support.
- Costco: Supports vaccinations through their pharmacies.
- SEIU 1199NW (a health care worker union): Coordinates volunteer support where it’s most needed.
- UFCW 21 (a grocery, retail, and health care worker union): Helps with staffing and training for vaccinators.
- Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA): Works with providers to ensure vaccination safety.
- SeaMar: Helps ensure all communities get vaccines distributed fairly.
- Washington National Guard: Provides logistics support and soldiers to help administer vaccines.
Here are some videos where Dan shares more about how partnerships improve our vaccine response.
Thankful for our partners — and for you!
Getting vaccines delivered is a massive challenge for our country — and for the whole world. In Washington, we are very fortunate to have such amazing partners step up to help make things easier. Thanks to them, we are delivering our vaccines as quickly as possible in Washington state.
We all need to work together to end this pandemic. Our partners are doing their parts to help us get vaccines to people all across the state. And you’ve been doing your part too! Thank you for keeping yourselves and your communities safe — please keep it up! Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance, and get the vaccine when it’s your turn. And don’t forget to enable WA Notify on your smart phone.
Stay tuned for more partnership stories in the coming weeks! We’ll share even more about how our partners are helping Washingtonians get vaccinated soon.
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Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at coronavirus.wa.gov.
See what vaccine phase we are in now at CovidVaccineWA.org. To find out if it’s your turn, visit FindYourPhaseWA.org and our timeline of vaccine phases. Check the vaccine locator map for a list of places where you can get the vaccine, which is provided at no cost.
Answers to your questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state may be found at our website. You can also contact the Department of Health call center at 1–800–525–0127 and press # from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday — Sunday and observed state holidays. Language assistance is available.