Vaccine supplies remain limited in Yakima County this week, and winter weather is delaying shipments, health officials said.
The Yakima Health District provided updated distribution numbers Wednesday. A total of 17,965 first doses have been received in the county, with 19,212 administered. Providers are often able to extract additional doses of vaccine from vials.
A total of 11,475 second doses have been received with 7,123 administered. The numbers do not include doses administered to staff and residents of long-term care facilities through the federal pharmacy partnership.
Vaccine shipments nationwide are being affected by winter weather. Lilian Bravo of the Yakima Health District said that’s also true locally.
Michele Roberts, the state Department of Health’s acting assistant secretary, said during a briefing Thursday that an estimated 90% of vaccine shipments are delayed this week. The state was expecting about 200,000 doses this week.
The state-operated mass vaccination clinic in Benton County is closed through the weekend because of the delayed shipments. People with appointments will be contacted to reschedule them next week.
The Yakima Health District was expecting 500 first doses and 3,200 boosters this week, with those first doses designated for long-term care facilities. The booster doses are going to Astria Toppenish, Farm Workers Clinics in Grandview Toppenish and Yakima, Community Health of Central Washington in Yakima and Tieton Village Drugs. A limited supply of 100 booster doses each was scheduled to go to Safeway stores in Yakima and Grandview and Yakima Family Medicine, according to information on the Yakima Health District’s website.
Community members should get their first and second doses from the same location, the health district said.
Andre Fresco, executive director of the Yakima Health District, said there are not enough vaccines for everyone who is eligible in the county right now. People should continue to check the health district’s website for updates.
“We continue to ask the community to remain patient if you are unable to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said in a statement. “Be assured, all of our community partners are working diligently to vaccinate everyone who wants a vaccine, as soon as possible.”
The health district added that the state’s vaccine supply from the federal government is steadily increasing.
The health district has said 15,000 to 20,000 doses a week are needed to open a planned mass vaccination site at State Fair Park and supply other providers. The mass vaccination site will supplement the other locations. A total of 22 hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in the county are set up to distribute vaccine.
The state is in Phase 1B Tier 1 of vaccine rollout, which means everyone 65 and over and those 50 and over in multigenerational households are eligible. Those who work in health care, first responders and staff and residents of long-term care centers also are eligible.
The Seattle Times contributed to this article.