“We are ready to go,” Gov. Jay Inslee said during last Sunday’s news conference, referring to the COVID-19 vaccine. “We believe that we can take our first shipments hopefully tomorrow and the first vaccinations start in our state safely as early as Tuesday.”
The day after this press conference, 3,900 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine arrived at the UW Medical Center. This delivery was among the first in Washington state. About 62,400 doses in total have gone out to 40 health facilities across the state.
Here in Seattle, among the first to be dosed with the vaccine will be UW Medicine employees who are at the highest risk.
The death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 300,000 people in this country. The Food and Drug Administration gave the vaccine emergency approval just last Friday. It’s predicted that the vaccine will be more widely available in the spring and summer. It has still not been determined which populations or demographics will be prioritized, but it’s likely that essential workers, seniors, and others at-risk of severe illness would get high priority when the vaccine rolls out.
By the end of this month, another 222,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Washington state.
“We believe that if everything goes according to plan, we’ll have most people in Washington vaccinated by mid-summer,” said Michele Roberts, one of the leaders of the Washington state Department of Health vaccine planning group, in a statement.
Information from The Seattle Times and The Associated Press contributed to this report.