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COVID-19 vaccine distribution update from the WA State Dept. of Health

February 11, 2021

The WA State Dept. of Health (DOH) reports that they continue to make progress with 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 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

DOH acknowledges there has been confusion surrounding second doses and expressed their commitment to ensuring there is a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine for everyone who receives their first dose. They’ve asked providers to prioritize vaccine series completion. This may mean using first doses to vaccinate people who need second doses.

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

  • Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech should be given 3 weeks or 21 days apart.
  • Two doses of Moderna should be given 1 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 6 weeks or 42 days after the first dose.

Vaccine supply

Supply from the federal government continues to be the greatest challenge. This week providers requested more than 440,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 281,100 first doses and 165,750-second doses. In all, the state has received just over 200,000 doses from the federal government, which is less than half. DOH has been advised 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, Johnson & Johnson announced they submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) 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 3-week allocation forecast from the federal government. Up until last week, they did not receive weekly allocation numbers until Tuesday morning, making it difficult for their 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 DOH to develop a multi-week strategy that helps with consistency and predictability and they hope to have this plan fully in place in the coming weeks.

The DOH website is a 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.


Posted February 12, 2021