The cities of Issaquah and Sammamish with Eastside Fire & Rescue have been working together for the past few months to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to East King County residents. Now, the establishment of the first community-based mass vaccination site on the Eastside is made possible through a partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe. As a sovereign nation, the Snoqualmie Tribe is providing the vaccine necessary to turn the planned the mass vaccination site at Lake Sammamish State Park into a reality.
The Snoqualmie Tribe’s Vaccination Clinic, which first opened on the Snoqualmie Tribal Reservation in February, will now operate at the Lake Sammamish State Park site. The mass vaccination site will be named the Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership and will open on April 12, 2021.
Vaccines will be available to individuals with an appointment only. Individuals must meet the current vaccine eligibility requirements as defined by Washington State Department of Health. Snoqualmie Tribal Members, Tribal Staff, and members of their household will continue to be eligible for appointments at the new clinic location. The mobile vaccination unit operated by Eastside Fire & Rescue will still be making visits to senior citizens and other vulnerable populations who may not be able to access the vaccination site.
“The Snoqualmie Tribe is proud to be able to provide these vaccines to individuals living in the Snoqualmie Tribe’s ancestral lands. In the 1860’s, the Snoqualmie people and other Northwest Natives experienced great loss as white settlers adopted a smallpox vaccine policy that discriminated against Natives,” said Robert De Los Angeles, Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman. “Now, the Snoqualmie Tribe is exercising sovereignty through our Tribal values by caring for the people and communities living on our ancestral lands 160 years later during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The Snoqualmie Tribe Vaccine Partnership is an amazing story of just that – a successful partnership,” said Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly. “Issaquah and Sammamish, along with numerous private and public partners, worked tirelessly to bring a community-based vaccination site to the Eastside. However, with vaccines in short supply, we had limited options. We are forever grateful for Snoqualmie Tribe’s partnership and care for our communities and look forward to educating our residents about the tribe’s deep history on these ancestral lands.”
“Our commitment from Sammamish is to continue the respectful partnership between our city and the Snoqualmie Tribe. We want to honor what the Snoqualmie Tribe has brought to our communities, not only in the form of vaccines, but also your culture, your history, your legacy, and your lands. We are so grateful to the Snoqualmie Tribe for this partnership, it will truly help save lives,” said Mayor Karen Moran of the City of Sammamish.
“Eastside Fire & Rescue has been working with the Snoqualmie Tribe since 2015, when the Tribe contracted EF&R to provide fire and EMS services on the Snoqualmie Reservation. It is an honor to be able to partner with the Tribe on vaccination efforts for their community and now the broader Eastside,” said Fire Chief Jeff Clark.
The mass vaccination site will be administered by Eastside Fire & Rescue personnel and trained volunteers and will follow all COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. The site is designed to accommodate two rows of cars with the potential of vaccinating up to 300 persons a day, depending on vaccine supply. More information, including appointments, eligibility, and how to volunteer is available at: snoqualmievaccine.snoqualmietribeweb.us.