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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: December 15, 2020

WCHD COVID-19 Vaccine Update 12/15/20

COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives in Washington State on Monday


The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived Monday morning in Washington State and are soon to arrive in Whatcom County. Approximately 62,400 doses are expected this week, with a total of 222,000 expected this month, according to this week’s news release from the Washington State Department of Health (WA DOH). Another vaccine produced by a different pharmaceutical company, Moderna, will have its FDA application reviewed December 17. If it is approved, Washington is expected to receive an additional 183,000 vaccine doses before the new year. 


The long-awaited arrival of a safe, effectivel vaccine is an important step toward ending the pandemic, but there’s still work to be done, and we all have to pitch in.


What this means


Currently, vaccine supply is limited. People who are most at risk are prioritized in Washington’s State’s COVID-19 phased vaccine plan and are given the vaccine first. According to a WA DOH news release, Phase 1a recipients will receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week. Recipients in Phase 1a include:

  • high-risk frontline healthcare workers. 

  • high-risk first responders.

  • patients and staff at long-term care facilities. 

These vaccines will likely be administered on-site at the facilities where recipients work or live.  As more doses are produced and delivered, the vaccine will become more widely available. For more information on Washington State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, go to www.CovidVaccineWA.org.


What’s next


When the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, you’ll be able to get vaccinated at many of the same places you can get flu or other vaccines, like pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Those providers are currently being enrolled to be able to give the COVID-19 vaccine. 


It’s going to take some time before the majority of the population has been vaccinated for COVID-19. Current projections anticipate that the COVID-10 vaccine will be available to most people by mid-2021. 


In the meantime, it’s essential to continue practicing standard COVID-19 precautions - whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. All of us need to keep practicing standard precautions including:

  • Wearing a mask or face covering

  • Keeping 6 feet minimum physical distance from others

  • Avoiding large gatherings and indoor gatherings

  • Frequent handwashing


For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Washington State and Whatcom County visit  www.CovidVaccineWA.org or www.whatcomcounty.us/covidvaccine.  

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