Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff is scheduled to visit Yakima on April 6, his office confirmed, as a new federal mass vaccination center ramps up at State Fair Park.
Starting Wednesday, the capacity of the recently opened site will increase from 200 to 1,200 vaccine doses each day and operations will expand from five to seven days a week.
Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, has been visiting locations around the country involved with coronavirus response.
The Yakima site was one of 23 nationwide selected by the federal government as a pilot community vaccine center. The federal government is placing them in high-risk communities in partnership with state and local officials, with the goal of equitably distributing vaccines. Yakima’s site was mentioned during a White House COVID-19 response team briefing last week.
Yakima’s site gears up
Yakima’s center is primarily set up as a drive-thru site, but individuals also can walk up. Those driving should use Gate 15, and those walking on to the site should use Gate 1. People who need a fare-free ride can call 211.
The hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, except for Thursday when the hours are noon to 6 p.m. People can register at https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/ or call 1-800-525-0127.
Starting Wednesday, vaccine eligibility expands to restaurant, food service, construction and manufacturing workers; anyone 60 and older; and anyone with two or more underlying conditions. Those previously eligible still qualify.
Eligibility for vaccines is not affected by insurance coverage or immigration status. In addition to the Central Washington State Fair Park site, mobile unit locations and hours will be available soon and updated on the Yakima Health District website YakimaHealthDistrict.org.
Local officials are planning a grand opening ceremony for the site Wednesday morning.