Washington Health Secretary Visits Spokane Covid Mass Vaccination Site

Feb 9, 2021

Washington Health Secretary Umair Shah says the state is preparing the infrastructure to inoculate more people for Covid, but is waiting for more supply from the federal government.
Credit Courtesy of Washington Department of Health

Washington’s top public health official toured Spokane’s Covid mass vaccination site on Tuesday. It’s one of four such sites the state is sponsoring around the state.

Department of Health Secretary Umair Shah learned that around 7,500 people have received their first Covid shots at the Spokane Arena.

Another 4,000 will be inoculated beginning Wednesday, running through Saturday and then again on Tuesday.

Shah says he hopes the sites will continue to get busier as the feds send more vaccine.

“We have the capacity to be able to do markedly more than we can here and elsewhere across the state. We just don’t have enough vaccine, which makes it very difficult to make vaccine allotments and allocations because, invariably, you just don’t have enough to go around. But our goal is to continue to build the capacity so when the vaccine supply increases that we’re able to very quickly be able to get that into the arms of Washingtonians," he said.

Shah says the state is also working to make sure the vaccines they do have are equitably distributed.

Umair Shah: “This is a challenge across the country and this has been the pandemic’s concern and this is how it’s been throughout this entire year. Covid-19 has not started health inequities. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has sometimes unearthed and made things worse.”

Shah thanked state National Guard members at the arena for their service. Local health officials say between 90 and 100 people keep the vaccination site running.