About 90% of COVID vaccine shipments to WA delayed this week | KNKX

About 90% of COVID vaccine shipments to WA delayed this week

Feb 18, 2021

Winter weather has delayed the shipment of some vaccines intended for Washington state.

Michelle Roberts leads the COVID-19 planning and distribution team for the Department of Health. She says that up to 90 percent of this week's allocation has been delayed.

That's about 200,000 doses.

It has forced the closure of the Benton-Franklin mass vaccination site through the weekend. People with appointments are getting emails to reschedule for next week.

“We hope deliveries will happen later this week. But we're in a holding pattern until the weather on the East Coast lightens up and vaccines can ship out,” Roberts said. “I want to end by thanking the public for your patience. We know many of you want a vaccine and waiting is not easy, but we promise your turn is coming."

The Department of Health hopes to distribute this week's delayed allocation alongside next week's planned allocation. When combined with the planned allocation for next week, they hope to administer about 460,000 doses.

She reminded people that shipping is managed by the federal government, and that the top priority is making sure vaccines arrive safely.

Additional information from the Department of Health about vaccine distribution can be found here.