State Health Department to focus on second doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week

Appointments to get a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be extremely limited in Washington state this week as the Washington Department of Health State focuses on second doses.

The Department of Health is still determining exactly how many first doses will be available during the week. For these available first doses, the department said it will prioritize state and local mobile vaccination teams for long-term care facilities and adult family homes; mass vaccination sites in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties; and other sites throughout the state that address equity.

Providers requested about 170,000 second doses for the week, significantly more than the state’s allocation of 92,325 second doses. The difference is likely due to the fact that some providers in Washington used doses of vaccine that were intended to complete the two dose vaccine series as the initial dose when vaccinating community members earlier in January. Unfortunately, this now means that a portion of next week’s available first doses will need to be used to complete the series for these people, the Department of Health said.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also be delaying vaccine delivery until Tuesday due to weather concerns across the country. Together, this means people who need to make an appointment for their first dose will likely not be able to do so next week, and some who have appointments for a first dose may be asked to reschedule.

“We are monitoring the distribution of doses closely and making adjustments as needed,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. “While the limited availability of first doses will be challenging this coming week, focusing on second doses will help pave the way for an improved and more sustainable allocation of vaccines in future weeks.”

Some vaccine providers still have first dose inventory on hand that they can use for next week, and the newly launched federal pharmacy program will bring additional first dose vaccines into Washington next week.

Community members eligible for vaccine are asked to be patient as there will be limited availability for the initial vaccine dose this coming week. While the state still does not have enough doses to cover everyone who is currently eligible, Washington’s allocation from the federal government is steadily increasing, the Department of Health said.

  1. How will an individual be notified that it is time for them to receive the vaccine even when they are in the eligible category and have not yet received a vaccine?

  2. It is easy to complain. My observations question the lack of organization. What ever happened to the Red Cross? Hospitals and clinics are private entities and they have obligation to their patients under different insurance protocols. We have some degree the `Affordable Care Act’. Politics is always involved when federal money is distributed across the regions of this nation; not always equitably, or with clear forethought. It may be unintended consequences, but it seems that the protocols to sign up and get an appointment for the covid-19 vaccine too often lacks clarity and is more like a game of Bingo. I know that some seniors have gone from their county to another county to get their covid-19 vaccine. It should not be a treasure hunt. I have insurance, and I have gone through the protocol that my name is on a list, but I have not heard anything further and that was two weeks ago. Even if it is a month out, I would like to believe that the process will not fail, since vaccination is the determining factor for many segments of our society to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

  3. People being vaccinated who are not eligible isn’t helping. This did occur. I expect this continues to occur. My husband and I are 68 and compromised. We have done everything asked by SHD, Mandates, cdc…you same it.
    Volunteers nonmedical and not health care workers in any way…vaccinated. This is not the time for more entitlement…are you citizens of Edmonds aware of this?

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