First COVID-19 vaccines being administered in Washington


Personal support worker Johanne Lamesse reacts in anticipation to the needle as she receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Ottawa Hospital, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in Ottawa (Photo by Adrian Wyld).

SEATTLE (AP) — Health care workers in Washington on Tuesday will start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, part of an effort to quickly innoculate people most at risk during the pandemic.

Employees at UW Medical Center-Montlake and Swedish Hospital’s First Hill campus in Seattle are among the first people who will receive the Pfizer vaccine.

While the initial doses in Washington state will go to health workers and people in long-term care facilities, it will be months before it is available to much of the broader population. Authorities say there are about 500,000 people in Washington eligible for the vaccine in the initial phase. Washington’s population is approximately 7.5 million.

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The Department of Health said it expects to get 62,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, which will be distributed to 17 sites in 13 counties.

By the end of December, the state expects to get another 222,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. And, if a vaccine developed by Moderna gets approval, the state says it should get about 183,800 doses of that offering by the end of December

.The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States was in Washington in January. The state also saw the nation’s first deadly outbreak at a nursing home. Since the start of the pandemic there have been about 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington and more than 2,800 deaths.

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