Tuesday, June 22

Frustrating: King Co. health officials are not expecting new shipment of Pfizer vaccine next week – Seattle PI

With confusion swirling about the allocated doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, King County health officials said Friday that they are not expecting any new shipments of the vaccine to public health facilities next week.

On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee stated that Washington’s allocation of the Pfizer vaccine will be cut by 40% in the upcoming week, calling it “disruptive and frustrating.”

“The thought and planning given to the vaccine roll out was not proportional to the thought and planning given to the development of the vaccine,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin of Public Health — Seattle & King County on Friday. “The amount of planning, foresight and investment  in taking those vaccines that have been developed and shown to be safe and effective and getting them into people’s arms has not been adequate.”

Frontline healthcare workers have been among the first to receive the vaccine in the Evergreen State. Health officials had been expecting to receive approximately 74,100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week and another 85,800 the following week.

However, the state is now expecting to receive approximately 45,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week. It is currently unclear how many will be allotted to King County and what facilities those will go to, but Duchin stated that the public health department is not expecting to receive doses.

Other King County facilities and hospitals who have previously requested and been allocated doses may still receive their shipments.

In a statement, Pfizer said that the company is not having any production issues with the vaccine and that shipments have not been delayed.

“This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them,” wrote the company. “We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses. We remain confident in our ability to deliver up to 50 million doses globally this year and up to 1.3 billion next year.”

Duchin said he was “not surprised, but disappointed” that allocation errors have occurred so quickly and that it is too soon to say if subsequent allocations will be likewise affected.

While the Moderna vaccine has not yet been authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration, the state said it is expecting to receive 120,000 doses. King County does not have any definite numbers of allocations for that vaccine.

On Wednesday, Washington public health officials said the state is making progress flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases. While the data does not indicate a post-Thanksgiving surge of the virus, officials doubled down on calls for diligence over the holiday season.

“COVID-19 activity remains very high in Washington but we are starting to flattening the curve which is really good news,” said Washington State Health Officer Kathy Lofy. “We are in sort of a precarious position right now. We’re seeing some positive signals … but we are not done yet.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *