Washington may begin administering COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday

Dec 14 2020, 11:49 am

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Washington.

The Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH) said on Monday that the first doses will be administered to high-risk health workers as well as staff and residents of long-term care facilities beginning this week.

A total of 62,400 doses are expected to arrive this week.

The federal government has given WSDOH an estimated total distribution of 222,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of December. Regular weekly shipments will begin in January.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose vaccine given 21 days apart. Clinical trial data show that the vaccine is 95% effective at preventing the COVID-19 infection starting seven days after the second dose. Individuals will not be considered fully protected until one to two weeks after they receive the second dose.

Pharmaceutical company Moderna submitted an EUA application on November 30, which will be reviewed on December 17. If the EUA is granted and the Moderna vaccine approved by the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, around 183,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine should arrive by the end of December as well.

Both vaccines are currently only recommended for those aged 16 and over.

“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 DOH COVID-19 vaccine planning group, in a press release. “The rapid development of these vaccines, with such a high rate of efficacy, is a historic achievement, and will help us defeat COVID-19.”