Updated on April 22, 2021
On January 26th, Skagit County Public Health began providing COVID-19 vaccines to phase-eligible individuals at the Skagit County Fairgrounds. Vaccine is provided by appointment only, and appointments are made available based on supply provided by the State. As of April 15th, all Washingtonians 16 years and older are eligible for the vaccine.
It is important to note that Skagit County Public Health is not the only vaccine provider in our community. A list of providers (local, regional, and state-wide) can be found here.
This is an exciting time for our community, as vaccine becomes available to a wider portion of our population. So, what should people expect when they make an appointment for a vaccine at the Fairgrounds? Here is a step-by-step guide to Public Health’s Vaccine Site at the Skagit County Fairgrounds.
Step 1: Registration
All Washingtonians 16 years and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. To find an appointment, go to: https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/.
To schedule an appointment at the Skagit County Fairgrounds, go to https://prepmod.doh.wa.gov/ and search for “Skagit” under Name of Location. Appointments are available based on vaccine supply. Please schedule an appointment for each person individually; no joint appointments are available.
We ask that if you can register online, to please do so. If you need assistance, you can call our vaccine hotline at (360) 416-1500. The hotline is available in English and Spanish, Monday – Friday from 9am-4pm and Saturday from 9am-3pm.
There are very minimal barriers to accessing a vaccine. The federal government is covering the cost of vaccine, making it no-cost for those with or without insurance. When you arrive, you will not be expected to provide insurance information or residency information. It is truly the goal of the County to provide vaccine to all those who want it!
Step 2: Arriving at the site
The Vaccine Site is located at the Skagit County Fairgrounds, North Gate Entrance (1410 Virginia St., Mount Vernon, WA 98273).
Please note: Couples may arrive together, so long as both people have an appointment for that day. If both people have the same appointment date but reserved two different times, you may arrive together at the earliest scheduled time. If a couple has appointments on different dates however, please plan to arrive on your scheduled date/time.
Once through the gate, vehicles will be directed to a holding area which will operate similar to a ferry system. Once there is space, vehicles will be moved through the site, either to a parking lot for the walk-in clinic (for first dose) or to the F-Barn for the drive-thru clinic (for second dose).
If instructed toward the parking lot, individuals will be asked to remain within their vehicle until instructed to come into the building. Please note: We ask that only individuals with a vaccine appointment enter the vaccine building at the A/B Barn. However, people requiring assistance from another adult are welcome to bring that adult in with them.
If instructed to continue to drive toward the F-Barn, drivers will proceed based on instructions from our traffic staff.
As of April 20th, the Fairgrounds Site has added a Play Zone for children of those coming for their first dose appointments. The Play Zone is staffed by the Children’s Museum of Skagit County and is a free service provided to any parent or guardian arriving to the site for their first dose. The Play Zone is located in the C Barn, right near the entrance of the A/B barn where vaccine appointments take place. All children will be required to be health screened before entering the Play Zone, and parents will receive a pager and wristband for security purposed.
Step 3 & 4: Checking in & Vaccination
Walk-in clinic (first dose):
We ask that people adhere to physical distancing requirements while in the building, and that a surgical mask is worn at all times. If you do not have a surgical mask, one will be provided.
Once an individual enters the Vaccine Building, they will be greeted and asked to fill out a consent form. This form helps staff fill out each person’s Vaccine Card, which documents when their first dose was administered, and what brand of vaccine was provided (note: Public Health is currently providing Moderna or Pfizer depending on the week). This will also be a time for people to read about the vaccine they will be receiving.
Individuals will be asked to remain seated until called forward by staff.
Once the consent form is complete and when a nurse is available, individuals will be called to an enclosed area. Here, the nurse will be able to answer questions that you may have and will screen for any possible health issues that may be of concern for someone receiving a vaccine.
From here, the nurse will administer the vaccine: a simple shot in the upper arm, similar to a flu shot.
Drive-thru (second dose):
After following directions to the F-Barn, vehicles will enter one-at-a-time into the building. Those with an appointment will receive their vaccine while seated within their vehicle. A nurse will ask that individuals roll down their windows, and the vaccine will be administered in this way.
A nurse can determine if someone is not able to receive the vaccine while in their vehicle. If this is the case, there will be space for individuals to exit their vehicle and have the vaccine administered outside of their vehicle.
Step 5: 15-Minute Monitoring
Those who are vaccinated will be required to wait for 15 minutes in our holding space—either in our waiting room (for first dose) or in our holding parking lot (for second dose). Staff in this area will monitor individuals for any possible side effects, such as light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, or shortness of breath.
This is the perfect time for those receiving their first dose to enter the date of their second dose into their calendars. You will automatically be reserved an appointment time/date for your second dose of vaccine: either 28 days (Moderna) or 21 days (Pfizer) after your first dose. Public Health will email you a weblink (or will send a postcard) to confirm this reservation. If you need to change your date or time, please call the Vaccine Hotline to reschedule: (360) 416-1500.
Once the 15-minute holding period is complete, people are free to leave.
Step 6: Best practices and safety precautions post-vaccination
Once someone receives the vaccine (first and/or second dose), it is still important to keep practicing physical distancing and other safety precautions. Keep wearing your mask in public, keep your distance, and keep gatherings small.
There is not enough information currently available to say if or when CDC will stop recommending that people wear masks in public and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before making that decision. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision.
While we understand that this isn’t necessarily what people want to hear, it is the best way to protect our friends and loved ones who have yet to be vaccinated.
If you would like more information about the vaccine, please call Skagit County Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, available in both English and Spanish. Staff will be able to assist you with general vaccine questions, and can provide information about priority phases, as well as vaccine locations. Please call Public Health’s main line at (360) 416-1500 to access the Hotline.
And as always, for the most up-to-date information, visit our webpage at www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine.