Demand for COVID-19 vaccine largely will outweigh supply next week when eligibility opens to residents 16 and older, as allocation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine falls below expectations, state health officials said Wednesday.
“We’re hoping, especially as we have more people that are going to be eligible starting next week, that the vaccine supply – if not in April then at least in May – significantly increases so we can match that demand of those who are now eligible,” said State Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah.
Washington providers requested 449,950 doses and the state expects to receive about 380,000, including 13,000 Johnson & Johnson doses, said SheAnne Allen, COVID-19 vaccine director. This week, the state received about 460,000 doses. Of those, 109,000 were produced by Johnson & Johnson.
The state hoped to see its allocation of Johnson & Johnson doses rise in the coming weeks, but it likely will fall to about 5,000 doses the week after next, Allen said.
About 15 million Johnson & Johnson doses were ruined in March when workers at a Baltimore plant accidentally mixed up the vaccine’s ingredients, the New York Times reported last week.
Allen said the company told the state it’s still on track to meet 100 million doses available in the United States by the end of May.
The three-week forecasts are estimates and typically change each week, Allen said. The forecasts include only the state allocation. The doses going directly from the federal government to providers are counted separately, she said.
Washington pharmacies receive about 100,000 doses weekly through the federal retail pharmacy program and federally qualified health centers get about 20,000 doses, Allen said.
Washington residents can check if they are eligible for vaccination at doh.wa.gov and can make appointments online at vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov or by calling 1-800-525-0127.
The state data dashboard shows the number of vaccine doses given by county but doesn’t break them down by dose or vaccine type. The raw vaccine data available from the state website also cannot be downloaded.
While 20% of Washingtonians are fully vaccinated, 80% aren’t and are still susceptible to severe illness, Shah said.
Cases are increasing in the state, with the sharpest increase among younger people ages in their teens to 40s, he said.
As of April 3, 180,344 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given in Clark County; 78,219 residents have been fully vaccinated. Clark County’s population is about 480,000 people.