First vaccine shipment expected this week
December 17, 2020
COLFAX — Whitman County expects to receive its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.
Gov. Jay Inslee said the first shipment arrived in the state Dec. 14; the first in line for vaccinations are health care workers (Phase 1a), the elderly in long-term care centers and American Indian communities.
“Everything is moving pretty fast,” county Interim Public Health Director Chris Skidmore said.
The first shipment is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. It is a two-dose vaccine, with the second dose administered 21 days after the first. It has been authorization by the FDA for anyone 16 years and older.
Whitman County will received 975 first-stage doses with this shipment.
Skidmore expects future shipments to have about the same number. It may take two shipments to cover everyone who falls into the Phase 1a group, he said.
He has reached out to the hospitals which will determine the number of doses needed to cover staff.
A second vaccine, developed by Moderna, is also expected to be available soon.
Future vaccine shipments to the county will depend on a number of factors. The biggest component is the manufacturer and how quickly the vaccines can be made. With the international consideration of vaccine demand, Skidmore did not know how long it would be before vaccines are readily available.
“I would encourage everyone who can to get the vaccine as soon as possible,” Skidmore said.