Tri-Cities see 3,817 vaccinations in first week of fairgrounds site

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — The Benton County Fairgrounds site just finished the first week of mass vaccinations for those eligible in Phases 1A and 1B in Washington state. Officials with the operation confirm that 3,817 vaccinations occurred in the first week.

Today, only 518 vaccinations were administered at the site. This was a direct result of limited resources allocated by state and federal officials. However, Gov. Jay Inslee recently told media members that a 16% increase in vaccine dose allocations is being added to Washington state’s total.

Appointments for the next week of vaccinations at the Tri-Cities’ site, which should run from Tuesday, February 2 to Saturday, February 6, opened around 3:30 p.m. today. However, a glitch in the system opened more appointments than the mass vaccination site can accommodate.

Therefore, officials ask that those with appointments for next week prepare themselves for the possibility that vaccinations are rescheduled.

RELATED: Benton County vaccination appointments open overzealously

Phase 1A included medical healthcare workers and first responders. As Washington’s frontline receives immunization to COVID-19, Phase 1B introduced Washingtonians age 65+ or age 55+ living in multi-generational households to the pool of eligible recipients.

In Benton and Franklin Counties, the coronavirus case count stands at 23,874. The most recent positivity rate at the CBC West coronavirus testing site in Pasco is 17.85%, which is a 2.5% improvement from the previous range of statistics.

By vaccinating the citizens of the Tri-Cities, workers from the Benton County Fairgrounds mass vaccination site are effectively creating a more safe community. Even with that being the case, there are still plenty of questions left to be answered.

A second dose is required for most FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, the 3,817 individuals who received shots this week will need another dose down the line. PIO Ben Shearer said in his press release this afternoon that the Washington state Department of Health (DOH) hasn’t yet announced guidelines for participants seeking clarity on their second shots.

Shearer also noted that the DOH has yet to confirm how many vaccine doses will be allocated to the Tri-Cities’ mass vaccination site for next week. Sit tight as officials work out the details over the next three days.

To find out if you’re eligible to be vaccinated, visit the Phase Finder tool.

RELATED: Coronavirus update — 88 cases, 9 deaths added

RELATED: Inslee loosens re-opening restrictions; our region remains in Phase 1