Submitted by the Washington State Department of Health
The Washington State Department of Health continues to make progress with its COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts.
As of Feb. 15, more than 1,201,120 doses of vaccine have been given across the state, which is nearly 83% of the 1,453,425 doses that have been delivered to our providers and long-term care programs. Washington is currently averaging 26,204 vaccine doses given each day. This information can be found on the DOH data dashboard under the vaccines tab, which is updated three times per week.
Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
More vaccine will be coming to Washington starting next week through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Due to the allocation increase, three more pharmacies will be added to the program: Walmart, Rite Aid, and Kroger (Fred Meyer and QFC). These pharmacies will join Safeway/Albertsons, Costco, and Health Mart Independent Pharmacies. Program allocations for next week have not been released, but the federal government announced the nationwide program is doubling in size. This week, Washington received about 22,500 doses.
Vaccine shipment delays
Winter storms are causing vaccine shipment delays across the nation. DOH estimates more than 90% of this week’s allocation will arrive late due to weather out east. Moderna vaccines have not shipped yet this week. Pfizer vaccines did not ship Monday, and only a limited number of vaccine shipments were processed Tuesday and Wednesday. These shipment delays may force providers to reschedule appointments. If you have a vaccine appointment this week, please contact your provider for an update.
Due to the delivery delays, the state-led mass vaccinations sites in Kennewick and Spokane will be closed through the weekend. Those with appointments will be contacted by email to reschedule their appointments for next week. The Ridgefield mass vaccination site will also be closed Saturday. No appointments were made for Saturday, so no one will need to reschedule an appointment.
Allocation forecast and focus
Washington’s 3-week forecast from the federal government is gradually increasing. This information allows us to develop a multi-week strategy that helps with consistency and predictability. The forecast is subject to change as vaccine availability from the federal government may change.
Week of Feb. 21: 263,570 total doses (146,110 first doses, 117,460 second doses)
Week of Feb. 28: 269,270 total doses (146,110 first doses, 123,160 second doses)
Week of March 7: 292,220 total doses (146,110 first doses, 146,110 second doses)
Although the increase is encouraging, allocations still do not meet the number of doses providers requested. For the week of February 21, Washington state providers requested 436,720 total doses of vaccine, which is 173,150 more doses than the state will receive from the federal government. DOH will honor provider’s second dose requests and prioritize vaccine series completion.
To guarantee eligible communities receive vaccine, DOH will begin allocating more doses to counties with larger populations that qualify under Phases 1A and 1B1. This may mean some counties get more vaccine than others. This statewide approach ensures everyone who is eligible has equal access to vaccine no matter where they live. Any vaccine that gets into our state helps protect us all by building community immunity.