FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, a nurse prepares a shot as a study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway in Binghamton, N.Y. The U.S. is poised to give the green light as early as Friday, Dec. 18, to a second COVID-19 vaccine, a critical new weapon against the surging coronavirus. Doses of the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health will give a much-needed boost to supplies as the biggest vaccination effort in the nation’s history continues. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

OLYMPIA – Today the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shared key updates on our COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts.

Phases & Changes

We are eager to pick up the pace to get vaccines to people who need them and expect to move into Phase 1B in a matter of days. So, we are asking health care workers in Phase 1A who haven’t gotten their vaccine to make an appointment now.

“Opening up Phase 1B doesn’t ‘turn off the spigot’ for people Phase 1A,” says Assistant Secretary Michele Roberts, one of the state’s leaders for vaccine rollout, “but we want to make sure that the people prioritized now take advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated in the next few days.”

Vaccines are the tool that will ultimately bring this pandemic era to an end. It is what will allow us to open our businesses; go back to school; hug our friends. But, there’s a lot to do before we get there. We need to make sure people at highest risk of getting very sick or dying get vaccinated first – and the rest of us follow suit when it’s our turn. That’s what prioritization is all about.

“We have to do it well, and we have to do it right,” adds Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH. “It’s all about striking a balance between speed and proper process as we distribute vaccine. We’re going as fast as we can, but we need to do better, and we will. To our community we want to say: We’re on it. Finding the right balance is the key to success for the future, and that’s our goal.”

Vaccine: By-The-Numbers

As of January 11, providers in Washington have given 201,660 total doses of vaccine since Phase 1A began. This includes both first and second doses.

As of January 12, Washington state has received 624,975 doses of vaccine, which includes allocations from both Moderna and Pfizer. This week we will receive 123,275 doses.  

This supply will go to 142 county sites and 11 tribal or Urban Indian Health Program sites. 

As of January 12, 2021, there are 627 facilities fully enrolled as COVID-19 vaccine providers.

Data dashboard

We know having updated data points is of the utmost importance in providing a clear picture of vaccine rollout in our state, and we are committed to providing regular updates.

In the next few days, in partnership with Microsoft AI for Health, we will unveil new vaccination statistics on a COVID-19 data dashboard.

The vaccine data dashboard will allow you to see the number of first and second doses, which means you can see how many people have started the two-dose series and how many have completed the series. It will also include the percentage of the population that is fully vaccinated so far, doses administered by date and more. 

Federal pharmacy program

The federal pharmacy program for long-term care facilities is making progress on timeline. CVS and Walgreens have each committed to completing vaccination for all enrolled facilities within a three-week period for each dose.

The first round for skilled nursing started Dec. 28 and will end this Sunday. The first round for all other facilities started Jan. 4 and will end on Jan. 24.

New federal strategy

We are working quickly to analyze new information from the federal government on expanded COVID-19 vaccine prioritization recommendations and changes to their vaccine allocation method.

We are determining how we can use the increase in available doses to quickly vaccinate as many people as possible, while still ensuring there is enough vaccine for a second dose for all.

There are many essential workers and people at high risk for COVID-19 in our state. Even with this increase, we don’t yet have enough vaccine supply for everyone who needs it. We are working to balance those needs with available supply and make sure we’re distributing vaccine in an equitable way.

We will provide more information on changes to our approach and plans for vaccination as soon as it’s available.

The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for the DOH blog, Public Health Connection

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