Yakima Co. got 15,500 vaccine doses this week

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — Yakima County received about 15,500 COVID-19 vaccine doses this week — its biggest shipment to date.

Yakima Health District officials said the shipment includes 11,132 first doses and 4,365 second doses and will help people who’ve been waiting in line to finally get the vaccine.

“These vaccines don’t sit on shelves for too long,” said Nathan Johnson, Local Emergency Response Coordinator with the Yakima Health District during a Facebook live update Tuesday evening. “They fly off and they’re like hot cakes.”

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As of this week, the county has received a total of 39,057 first doses and administered 25,148 of those doses. It’s also received 19,560 second doses and administered 12,015 of them.

Johnson said the county is getting vaccines from four different programs; one is through the Washington State Department of Health.

“The state receives an allotment each week and then they break that down into counties and then organizations within those counties,” Johnson said.

Yakima County also receives vaccine doses from the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, where vaccine doses are sent to participating Walgreens and CVS pharmacies to be distributed to long-term care facilities.

The Federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Program partners with federally qualified health centers to make sure vaccine doses are allocated equitably to underserved communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“[Yakima Valley] Farm Workers Clinic was one of three initial [federally qualified health care centers] in the state to be selected for that federal program,” Johnson said. “That is being expanded to [Yakima Neighborhood Health Services.”

Johnson said the fourth way the county receives vaccines is through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.

“Our larger chain pharmacies, such as our Walmart, our Costco, Safeways, receive vaccine directly from the federal government,” Johnson said.

Johnson said with the recent approval of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, Yakima County could start getting even more doses.

“It’s very exciting that it’s been approved through the FDA for emergency use authorization,” Johnson said. “Washington state will be seeing some as soon as next week.”

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