VACCINATION: City drops West Seattle provider at two-day-a-week High Point clinic

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.

15 Replies to "VACCINATION: City drops West Seattle provider at two-day-a-week High Point clinic"

  • Auntie December 3, 2021 (9:59 pm)

    I don’t know what is wrong here – cannot read between the lines, but suspect that city red tape is part of the problem. I got my booster from the Pliable services, quick, easy. I don’t see any reason why that could not be continued unless there is just too much city foolishness involved. At least the city replaced them with SFD rather than discontinuing altogether, but why not use a local reliable service that is already in place??? If you need a vaccination/booster, don’t hesitate to go on a day when Pliable is in service (apparently Sunday only).

    • CC December 3, 2021 (10:52 pm)

      Do you mind if I ask if you were charged anything? When I signed up, the website said that the shot was covered by the city, but insurance would be charged for the administration of the shot, so I don’t know if that means I’ll have to pay or how much, and now I’m especially wary, but the sfd appointments are already full. I wasn’t even asked for my insurance info for the first two shots.

      • Adam December 4, 2021 (7:07 am)

        I rec’d my shot from Pliable the first week they opened. One thing I can say is even upon their rollout they seemed to have it all together. Everything worked smoothly. Waiting the 15 mins after the shot took the longest, almost no waiting in line. It felt like it was ran better than most I’ve seen, but I cannot say for sure. CC, I was charged nothing, no question about money or insurance. They asked which shot I was there for and put me in a fast-moving line. 

      • WestSeattleite December 4, 2021 (8:37 am)

        I just had my booster administered by SFD yesterday and wasn’t charged anything. Was in and out in less than 5 minutes. 

      • SLJ December 4, 2021 (2:10 pm)

        It’s common to bill insurance for the administration fee, but not charge the patient for whatever isn’t covered. COVID vaccines are free to the patients, so asking for insurance doesn’t mean you’ll get a bill. Most clinics (not just Pliable) do this to recoup some of their costs.

        • CC December 5, 2021 (5:46 pm)

          I appreciate the answers!

      • Auntie December 5, 2021 (6:22 pm)

        I was not asked for my insurance information at any time – first or second shots or booster.

  • Chemist December 3, 2021 (11:38 pm)

    I received my first two vaccinations from the SFD and the booster from Pliable, all at the city-sponsored mass clinics in West Seattle.  Pliable’s site was actually the smoothest and quickest experience of the three.  My speculation of the holdup would be the city objecting to staffing levels being higher for a relatively small clinic.

  • Kidneeds2nd December 3, 2021 (11:39 pm)

    We have a second vaccine appointment this week scheduled. If it was scheduled by pliable will the appointments still be good but just given by SFD? Cant tell from city website.

  • jayma cohn December 4, 2021 (9:25 am)

    Hi all,if you haven’t been able to schedule an appointment at High Point, due to all slots being full. I  dropped in yesterday afternoon with no appt and was able to get my booster.Have a great Saturday!

  • Brian Feusagach December 4, 2021 (11:26 am)

    I found the scheduling process just “okay” – not because of the website itself but the lack of available booster appointments available. This, IMHO, is a good thing as it appears demand is very high now just as when vaccines first rolled out earlier this year. Even the Rite-Aid/Bartell’s/Walgreens locations are short on available appointments. But it took a bit of patience to keep periodically checking and was able to get my booster scheduled for yesterday at the Neighborhood House. The SFD-staffed process there was very smooth indeed – plenty of parking in the area, no real waiting and I was done in less than 15 minutes.  I am sorry to hear of the rift between Seattle and Pliable as it appears Pliable jumped in quickly to fill an immediate need — and the city was glad to accept them doing it. I am glad to see that Pliable will be offering the pop-up events – it will definitely help with the increased demand for boosters. 

  • Brynn December 4, 2021 (1:23 pm)

    Thank you Pliable for all your hard work to keep our community safe. Everyone at your clinics are so friendly and they made getting a booster shot very easy. We appreciate you all so much. 

  • Jamie December 5, 2021 (6:49 am)

    My family had a wonderful experience (very smooth, fast process and friendly staff) getting the booster from Neighborhood House. We didn’t know the service provide name, but I’m sorry to hear this service won’t continue at Neighborhood House. 

  • MD December 5, 2021 (4:21 pm)

    Hubby and I received our boosters today at Neighborhood House, I had and appointment but hubby didn’t. We were both in the chair within 2 minutes of walking in the door and it was a cheerful, painless experience with happy-music and tie-dye bandaids!

  • Emcat8 December 5, 2021 (4:50 pm)

    This is such a shame because my experience today with Pliable was excellent even though they got slammed just when I got there. They were all friendly and I was out in under ten minutes even with the crush. They filled a need when the city’s just basically abandoned West Seattle and the businesses are hard to get appointments with, they’re a woman owned business, and they deserve better, I feel after my good experience with them. 

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