City of Seattle prioritizing vaccines for Latino elders as data shows disproportionate impact

On Thursday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said getting an appointment for a vaccine is like playing digital hunger games.

With not enough supply, getting a time slot for an appointment is tough. For those with a language barrier, the situation can be much tougher.

That’s why the city is pushing vaccine events targeting BIPOC and other minority communities. On Thursday, the focus was on older people in the Latino community.

A West Seattle COVID-19 testing site is now doubling as a vaccination site. The city plans to vaccinate 750 people during the 3-day event.

Q13 News was on-site as people came by Thursday morning to get their shots. Vaccinations scheduled for the afternoon had to be canceled due to supply chains being disrupted by tumultuous weather. Those people have been rescheduled for Friday.

If there was ever a time to take a selfie, it was the moment Jose Roa got to roll up his sleeves in front of a Seattle firefighter.

 "I feel good, I feel good, I’m excited about this moment," Roa said.

A prick in the arm bringing a sense of relief.

"Everybody is waiting for this," Roa said.

Others said it was a challenge figuring out how to access the vaccine.

Flor Hamm said it took a friend to help finally book her an opening at the West Seattle pop-up clinic.

 "We went through a lot of problems," Flor said.

Durkan said this week language barriers and transportation issues continue to pose a bigger hurdle for many in the Latino community, a group that makes up now 24% of COVID 19 cases in King County.

"24 percent of the confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18% of the hospitalizations, yet they represent only 10% of the King County population," Durkan said.

Flor and her husband Timothy are the real faces behind those statistics.

"He got it first, I got it second," Flor said.

The Pacific couple said they fought off the coronavirus back in October 2020.

"The fatigue was really bad I would get up and I would have to lay down, didn’t lose my taste or smell, I’m asthmatic, I’m lucky it didn’t go to my lung," Timothy said.   

Timothy is choosing not to get a vaccine as he said it’s a personal decision, but he’s happy his wife could get one.

The vaccination site is in the back parking lot of the Southwest Teen Life Center off of SW Thistle Street.  

All the slots have been taken but if you want to get on the waitlist for future opportunities visit