COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts.

Last week, providers across the state began administering initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine to high-risk health workers, and now, more than 30,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered. DOH is thrilled with this progress in such a short time.

This week, we allocated 44,850 Pfizer doses and 127,900 Moderna doses. That includes:

  • 153,925 doses distributed to more than 220 sites in 37 counties
  • 18,825 doses distributed to support long-term care facilities as well as 14 Tribes and Urban Indian Health Programs

Many of this week’s shipments are arriving Wednesday by 4:30 p.m.

Here’s how the allocation breaks down by county this week:

Adams 200
Benton 4700
Columbia 200
Cowlitz 1400
Douglas 200
Ferry 400
Grays Harbor 1100
Kitsap 3000
Kittitas 300
Klickitat 500
Lewis 700
Lincoln 200
Mason 4500
Okanogan 200
Pacific 500
Pend Oreille 100
San Juan 600
Skagit 400
Skamania 600
Snohomish 14,200
Spokane 15,800
Stevens 1300
Thurston 5300
Wahkiakum 300
Walla Walla975200
Yakima 1500
 County subtotal30,225123,700
 Other subtotal14,6254200

Over the next several weeks, there will continue to be a limited supply of vaccine. Additionally, vaccine will not be delivered on Christmas or New Year’s Day. In early 2021, we hope to move to a consistent pattern of ordering and delivery, to continue the growth of COVID-19 vaccine availability in Washington state.

Vaccine prioritization

Last weekend a key CDC advisory committee voted on vaccine prioritization for later phases. This will help shape who gets the vaccine in the coming months. The federal guidance is the framework for Washington state to make decisions about who will be eligible for vaccine next.  Those prioritization decisions have not been finalized yet here in Washington state. Once we make these decisions at a state level, we will share that information.

Moderna vaccine

Last weekend, a second COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by Moderna, was authorized for emergency use in individuals aged 18 and older, by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccine also passed independent review by medical experts in the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, as part of the Western States Pact. This is a two-dose vaccine, given 28 days apart. Clinical trial data show the vaccine is about 94 percent effective after two doses.

Washington state placed an order for 128,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine the morning of December 21. We do not have confirmation yet specifying when these orders will be delivered. Next week’s allocation of the Moderna vaccine is 44,300 doses.

The Moderna vaccine will be delivered in a staggered fashion throughout each week, and unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, cold storage and handling is similar to other routinely used vaccines. This will help to distribute vaccine to many more providers across the state.

Reduced Pfizer vaccine allocation

Regarding our state’s reduced allocation of the Pfizer vaccine: We’ve learned since last week that prior allocations were inadvertently based on vaccine doses produced — not all of which had yet completed the quality control process. Vaccine cannot be released before quality control is complete. This discrepancy was the source of the change in allocations.

For the foreseeable future we will get our allocation on a week-by-week basis. The federal government has shared that vaccine supply will increase each month. Our allocation of the Pfizer vaccine is 57,525 doses for next week.

Long-term care facility vaccination program update

One long-term care pharmacy, registered through the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccine provider program, began vaccinations at several facilities December 21. We expect that facilities registered through the CDC’s long-term care program will begin vaccinations on the date previously communicated, December 28. This is the first date the national partnership for the long-term care program could be activated due to the large volume of vaccine needed for the program.