According to numbers released by the state Department of Health Tuesday, Lewis County is set to receive an additional 700 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine this week.
Last week, Lewis County received 975 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, which came out first.
As the county receives vaccines, Lewis County Public Health & Social Services (LCPHSS) has been coordinating vaccinations in Phase 1a of the state’s vaccination guidelines by connecting people in that category — health care workers and nursing home staff and residents — with approved vaccine providers such as Providence Health and Valley View Health Center.
“Our department respects the expertise leading the DOH phased approach. We appreciate having their guidance to follow to ensure maximum and timely vaccine benefit to Lewis County residents,” said LCPHSS Director J.P. Anderson. We are also grateful for the numerous local medical providers who are doing everything they can to support vaccination efforts in Lewis County.”
Statewide, a total of 153,925 doses were scheduled to be allocated to 220 sites in 37 counties this week, including 44,850 Pfizer doses and 127,900 Moderna doses. All of Lewis County’s allocation were Moderna doses.
Thurston County received 5,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week.
The state had been told to expect more doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, but later learned those amounts would be decreased.
“We’ve learned since last week that prior allocations were inadvertently based on vaccine doses produced — not all of which had yet completed the quality control process,” a news release from the DOH states. Vaccine cannot be released before quality control is complete. This discrepancy was the source of the change in allocations.
The Moderna vaccine was authorized on an emergency basis last weekend for use in individuals 18 and over.
“This is a two-dose vaccine, given 28 days apart. Clinical trial data show the vaccine is about 94 percent effective after two doses,” according to the state Department of Health.
Next week, the state expects to receive 57,525 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 44,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
The state plans to vaccinate the roughly 450,000 people who meet the criteria of Phase 1a first, but have so far only received about 200,000 doses statewide. Because the vaccine takes two doses to be fully effective, the state must receive at least 900,000 doses before it can move to Phase 2b, according to Lewis County Public Health.
The state Department of Health is estimating Phase 1b guidance will be released in January, and that Phase 1a vaccinations will take place through that month.
“Many factors go into deciding which populations to include and when to move to the next phase on a statewide level. These factors can either help or complicate efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible within a reasonable amount of time,” according to LCPHSS.
Those include the success of the current phase, how different groups are being affected, how many people are in a particular group, how much vaccine is available and how many people in that group will agree to be vaccinated, according to Lewis County.