Remi Frederick, a Village Green employee receives her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Jan. 26 in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing

Inslee: We have vaccine capacity, we just need the doses

Despite continued frustration from those seeking a shot, the state is making progress, he said.

Washington has the capacity to administer more than 45,000 COVID vaccinations a day, Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters Feb. 4.

We just need the doses.

As of Feb. 4, the state was averaging about 28,000 shots daily. Vaccine access remains limited amid high demand.

“This is good news,” Inslee said. “This is twice the number we were doing just about two weeks ago.”

But with limited supply, appointments are still difficult to secure, despite the wide range of providers offering a dose. That has led to frustration for many who miss the window to secure the potentially life-saving shot.

“We promise, your turn is coming,” acting state Assistant Secretary of Health Michele Roberts said during a news briefing last week.

In total, providers across Washington had administered more than 770,000 shots as of Feb. 4.

This week, the state’s allotment for first doses was 107,000.

About 35% went to mass vaccination sites; 23% to hospitals; 19% to community health centers; 19% to pharmacies; and 3% to tribal governments.

Meanwhile, the state announced last week it is reducing shipments to 39 providers that failed to administer 95% of their shots within a week of receiving them. So far, state officials have declined to identify the providers.

“We don’t want to be punitive about this,” Inslee said. “It’s just we have found some providers don’t have the capacity to do the rate of vaccinations that we need, so we have opted to go with people who are more successful. These are kind of the hard decisions we have to make.”

The statewide supply should soon grow.

Last week, the federal government gave the state Department of Health its first three-week vaccine forecast, showing a steady increase in doses coming to Washington.

The state’s next shipment is expected to be about 207,000 doses. For the week starting Feb. 21, it’s expected to reach 240,620 doses.

And on Feb. 4, Johnson & Johnson asked the federal Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval of its single-shot COVID vaccine.

In December, the first doses of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines arrived in Snohomish County within two weeks of receiving the OK from the federal government.

Back in Olympia, Inslee said Pfizer believes it can double its production each month through February and March.


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