Statewide COVID-19 vaccine distribution update

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. 6, more than 940,000 doses of vaccine have been given across the state, which is nearly 80% of the 1,195,207 doses that have been delivered to our providers and long-term care programs. Washington is currently averaging 26,857 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.

Second doses

The DOH is aware there has been confusion surrounding second doses. The DOH is committed to ensuring there is a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine for everyone who receives their first dose, which is why its staff has asked providers to prioritize vaccine series completion. This may mean using first doses to vaccinate people who need second doses. DOH staff recently reached out to providers to pave a clear pathway moving forward. Staff encourages providers to schedule second dose appointments when patients receive their first dose.

The second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible.

• Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech should be given three weeks or 21 days apart.

• Two doses of Moderna should be given one month or 28 days apart.

If people are not able to get a second dose appointment following the recommended interval, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled for administration up to six weeks or 42 days after the first dose.

Vaccine supply

Supply from the federal government continues to be our greatest challenge. In the second week of February, providers requested more than 440,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 281,100 first doses and 165,750 second doses. In all, we received just over 200,000 doses from the federal government, which is less than half.

Although doses are not where we would like them to be right now, we are optimistic about the future. We have been told by the federal government that allocations for both Pfizer and Moderna will increase in the coming weeks and months.

The progress of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is also encouraging. Last Thursday, the company announced they submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization of its Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The FDA could decide on a EUA by the end of February.

Allocation forecast

For the first time, DOH received a three-week allocation forecast from the federal government. Up until last week, we did not receive weekly allocation numbers until Tuesday morning, making it difficult for our staff, providers, and the public. The allocation forecast is a blend of first and second doses and is subject to change as vaccine availability from the federal government may change.

• Week of February 14: 206,125 total doses (113,800 first doses, 92,325 second doses)

• Week of February 21: 240,620 total doses (123,160 first doses, 117,460 second doses)

• Week of February 28: 242,360 total doses (128,560 first doses, 113,800 second doses)

This information allows us to develop a multi-week strategy that helps with consistency and predictability. We hope to have this plan fully in place in the coming weeks.