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Regional News

Washington Health Officials Finalizing Vaccine Distribution Plans

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Washington state health officials are still debating which groups of people would be first to receive the new Covid vaccines.

State Health Officer Kathy Lofy briefed members of the state Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee on Tuesday. She told them the state was waiting to hear how a federal committee proposes to prioritize distribution of the vaccine. That committee also met on Tuesday.

Lofy says health care providers that want to receive vaccine for their patients need to register first with the federal vaccine program.

“We started enrolling providers in early November. Any hospital, clinic, pharmacy, local health department can enroll. As of Sunday, we had over 500 providers that were interested and we think somewhere along in the process. There were 108 providers that were enrolled and ready to receive vaccine. As of today it was 116,” Lofy said.

A federal committee will consider the Pfizer vaccine on December 10. If the vaccine is approved that day, Lofy says a committee of scientists from several Western states will then immediately review its documentation and decide whether to green light for their states. She estimates that will take two or three days. She says Washington could receive vaccines for distribution in two weeks.

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