Immunizations Resume Statewide As More Vaccine Available, Weather Delays Resolved

Feb 25, 2021

More vaccine will soon be available across the state.
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Washington's Covid vaccinations are getting back on track after harsh winter weather nationwide slowed down shipments last week.

Many scheduled immunizations had to be canceled, but this week picked up pace again. Department of Health officials say one day this week, a record 5,000 doses were administered at the mass vaccination sites.

Even so, the demand is still greater than supply. Providers requested 430,000 doses and shipments from the feds totaled 260,000.

Assistant Health Secretary Michele Roberts says the good news is that Johnson and Johnson is expected to have its new vaccine approved by federal officials, as soon as Friday.

“If everything goes well, we could have this vaccine in our state later next week,” Roberts said. “We did get our allocation numbers on this vaccine from CDC today. And if it gets EUA approval, Washington will get 60,900 doses of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine next week.”

To date 1.4 million state residents have been vaccinated against Covid 19.

Health officials say they are also receiving more vaccine to ship around the state.

Washington health officials also say they are receiving more vaccine to ship around the state. More vials are coming in from suppliers, but they’re also figuring out ways to get more doses from a single vial of the Pfizer vaccine.

Roberts says it has to do with getting access to different medical equipment.

“Recently the FDA revised Pfizer’s ease of use authorization, adding another dose to each vial,” Roberts said. “Certain needles are needed to administer that six doses from one vial, rather than five. The federal government is sending updated needles and syringes to make sure we get that extra dose. This change is subtle but the extra dose adds up, and gives us an opportunity to administer more vaccine which is our goal.”