The Pike Place Market community took a vital step in recovering to full health from the COVID-19 pandemic
Pike Place Market Foundation partnered with the Pike Market Senior Center, Pike Place Market PDA and the Seattle Fire Department to bring COVID-19 vaccines to the high-risk seniors who live at Pike Place Market and vulnerable neighbors in downtown.
A total of 298 vaccines were distributed to the Market’s senior residents and downtown senior neighbors, who live in low-income housing or are experiencing homelessness.
“I’m 71 years old and in my condition, the virus would have wiped me out,” said a senior resident in the Market. “When they called me [to schedule the appointment], I knew someone was looking out for me. The weight of the past year was just lifted from my shoulders – I’ve been panicking and staying inside.”
Less than 1% of the 400 senior residents in the Market had received a vaccine before last week’s vaccine event.
“Our priority was to bring the Mobile Vaccine Unit into the Market to deliver vaccines directly to the high-risk senior population who lives and accesses our vital services in the Market,” said Jeannie Falls, Executive Director of the Pike Market Senior Center. “Many of our senior residents and senior center members have mobility issues with no access to the internet or transportation to get to vaccination sites around the area.”
The Market’s vaccine distribution also expanded to include senior artists, flower farmers and workers, as well as Pike Market Child Care and Preschool workers who just became eligible for vaccines.
“It’s liberating – we’ve been back at work since July and had not been prioritized as essential workers, until now,” said Lesa Valenzuela, Education Coordinator at Pike Market Child Care and Preschool. “I’m just so happy for all of us.”
Rolling out COVID-19 vaccines through the Mobile Vaccination Unit is an important way to bring this service to populations in our community who would have difficulty receiving the vaccine otherwise due to limitations with technology and barriers with mobility.