Who’s next in line for the coronavirus vaccine? Washington health officials plan to release prioritization for Phase 1B/1C recipients shortly after the new year.
SEATTLE — Soon we should learn more information about the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in Washington state as the Washington State Department of Health promised new details in the first week of the new year.
Meanwhile, Washington state remains in the first phase of distribution. Phase 1A includes high-risk workers in health care, some first responders and residents and staff of nursing homes that are over 65 – an estimated half a million people in all.
“The good news is that we are now starting to see the beginning to a light at the end of this long tunnel, and that’s why vaccines continue to be such an important therapeutic, such an important preventive, such an important way for use to protect our communities,” said Washington Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah during a media briefing on Wednesday.
The vast majority of Washingtonians will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.
And the ground work is already being laid.
Call any QFC pharmacy and this is what you’ll hear: “Our family of pharmacies have been approved only for limited COVID vaccine distribution at this time.” Kroger, the pharmacy’s parent company, announced in a prerecorded message it’s been approved for vaccine distribution – promising details to follow.
Only a small portion of the vaccines available in Washington state have been administered, according to DOH. Of the more than 356,000 doses delivered to Washington state, just 59,491 have been administered as of Wednesday. Officials blamed some of the delays on the holidays.
But there was good news as experts reported a dip in cases. That means that masks and social distancing are working.
“We’re starting to see this downward trend. This is all very encouraging,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist.
Though with some seven million people in Washington state alone, it will be some time before the majority of the population can be vaccinated and perhaps even longer until a sense of normalcy returns.