• Washington hits goal of administering 45,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine per day

    March 09, 2021

    OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is thrilled to share the state has reached its goal of vaccinating 45,000 people per day.

    As of March 3, an average of 45,221 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given and reported each day over the past seven days. This achievement is proof DOH and our partners continue to make progress with COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts. More than 1,865,640 doses of vaccine have been given and reported across the state, which is more than 77% of the 2,414,000 doses that have been delivered to our providers and long-term care programs. This information can be found on the DOH data dashboard under the vaccines tab, which is updated three times per week.

    Educators now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

    Following President Joe Biden’s announcement Tuesday, DOH has opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to every pre-K-12 educator, school staff member, and childcare worker in the state of Washington. DOH understands the unique role educators play in supporting families and children. Prior to the president’s announcement, we had been planning to open vaccine eligibility to teachers in the near future. This directive speeds up the process, immediately adding roughly 260,000 more people to the 2.1 million currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in the state of Washington.

    Educators are encouraged to receive their vaccine through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which will prioritize educators at their sites through the end of March. Currently there are six pharmacies in Washington involved in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program: Safeway/Albertsons, Walmart, Costco, Rite Aid, Health Mart Independent Pharmacies, and Kroger. This week these pharmacies will receive a total of 65,000 doses of vaccine. Next week they will receive 72,000 doses. This is in addition to the allocation Washington receives each week. Using the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, we believe we will be able to administer first doses to educators across the state by the end of March.

    DOH remains committed to continued vaccination for older adults and others who are currently eligible for vaccine. We will continue to work hard to vaccinate highly vulnerable populations at locations across the state, including pharmacies, mass vaccination clinics, hospitals, community health centers, and more.

    Allocation update

    Due to an increase in weekly allocations, DOH has been able to provide more and more vaccine to our partners across the state. Washington’s 3-week forecast from the federal government helps DOH develop a multi-week strategy that supports consistency and predictability. The forecast is subject to change as vaccine availability from the federal government may change.

    • Week of March 7: 309,770 total doses (163,660 first doses, 146,110 second doses)
    • Week of March 14: 320,300 total doses (163,660 first doses, 156,640 second doses)
    • Week of March 21: 327,320 total doses (163,660 first doses, 163,660 second doses)

    Although we are moving in the right direction, we still are not able to provide all the doses our providers request. Next week’s allocation is about 100,000 fewer doses than our providers requested.

    Johnson & Johnson vaccine

    A third highly effective COVID-19 vaccine is starting to be available in Washington. Vaccination is a critical tool we need to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will help us protect people more quickly.

    On February 27 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Johnson & Johnson for the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. Clinical trial data in the EUA shows the vaccine is 85% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness and 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths 28 days after individuals were vaccinated. Earlier this week the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup voted to recommend the vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine joins the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which are also authorized for emergency use.

    The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will help increase vaccine supply across the state and improve access to COVID-19 vaccines in areas where providers do not have the capability to store frozen versions. Additionally, the vaccine only requires one dose, which will help people get protected against COVID-19 without worrying about finding or scheduling an appointment for a second dose. This week, Washington was allocated 60,900 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It is important to DOH that counties get their proportional share of vaccine, which is why we are sending some of this week’s Johnson & Johnson allocations to counties where allocations were lower in recent weeks.

    DOH found out this week from the federal government that we will not receive more doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for three more weeks due to lack of supply. Although this is disappointing news, we have been told allocations should begin again the week of March 21.

    When it is your time to get vaccinated, please remember the best vaccine to get is the vaccine that is available to you. All three vaccines are highly effective lifesaving tools.

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