When the mayor announced in October that the city would sponsor a new two-day-a-week COVID vaccination clinic at Neighborhood House High Point, the West Seattle mobile-health providers Pliable were announced as the vaccinating partner. Less than a month and a half later, Pliable is out and the Seattle Fire Department is in. We got a hint of this last night when Pliable sent word of three upcoming Sunday clinics it’s offering independently and mentioned something in passing about being unable to reach agreement with the city. So first today we checked with the mayor’s office, which has handled communication about the city’s clinics. Spokesperson Anthony Derrick told us SFD had taken over and said, “The City appreciates Pliable’s work as they were a valued partner in launching our West Seattle vaccine clinic and ensuring an equitable vaccine distribution. While we were unable to come to an agreement on a service provision contract moving forward, we appreciate their contributions to our vaccination efforts.” We then sought further comment from Pliable’s co-founders Tara Biller and Nicole Warner, nurse practitioners who live in West Seattle, and received this response:
Pliable has been running community clinics since the beginning of the year with a focus on meeting the needs of our community in a timely and equitable way. As a small, women-owned, local business we have been proud of the care we’ve provided to more than 10,000 community members. We are grateful for the support of the Neighborhood House and their shared belief that health is a human right.
We began our partnership with the city in good faith, without a signed contract in hand, to rapidly meet community needs; we have vaccinated 6,280 community members over the past five weeks. The city has been unable to reach an agreement with Pliable to date and they opted to cease the partnership. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the West Seattle community, our home, and will continue to serve our neighbors with exceptional care and, of course, lollipops. We are thankful for the WS community’s ongoing support.
Bottom line for now, the Friday/Saturday clinics continue, but with SFD providers (who administered the shots at the city’s original West Seattle clinic, the one at Southwest Athletic Complex that closed in June); appointment info is here. Pliable, meantime, is holding other clinics, including the next three Sundays, as announced here last night.