The Seattle Times hosted a webinar on March 15, entitled “A Shot In The Arm: Introducing The COVID-19 Vaccine In Washington”. The hour-long event provided the latest information on how the coronavirus vaccine rollout stumbled into Washington. Then it shifted into higher gear, with more vaccine supplies, a wider aptitude for the gunshots, and a greater focus on delivering the vaccine to vulnerable populations, including people of color.
Inquiry editor Jonathan Martin moderated the session with subway reporter Evan Bush, investigative reporter Mike Reicher and columnist Naomi Ishisaka. They were joined by Dr. Helen Chu, an infectious disease expert, professor of medicine and epidemiology in the University of Washington School of Medicine, and director of the Seattle Flu Study.
Panelists took a variety of questions from the audience and shared how public health experts believe we may not achieve herd immunity with COVID-19. The growing consensus is that in the long term, like the flu, we can fight the virus in the long term with regular vaccinations and other precautionary measures. Dr. Chu also stressed that the vaccines were made in a safe and thorough process and were the best protection against death, hospitalization and serious illness from the virus.