The data, which was shared Tuesday night by Public Health with The Columbian, shows that Ferry County is the only county in the 15-county comparison that received fewer doses per 1,000 people than Clark County. Ferry County has a population of about 7,600, compared with Clark County’s 488,000 residents.
Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick told the Board of Health on Wednesday that the public has become frustrated because Clark County is near the bottom of Washington counties for vaccine administration on a per 100,000 population basis.
According to the data, the state has allocated 45,950 first doses of vaccine to Clark County over the last 11 weeks. That means Clark County has received 94.1 doses per 1,000 people — doses for 9.4 percent of Clark County’s population.
The next largest county, Spokane County, has received 30,325 more first doses than Clark County, even though Spokane County has only 35,000 more residents. Spokane County has received 145.9 doses per 1,000 people, or doses for 14.6 percent of their population.
The largest counties – King, Snohomish and Pierce counties – all received far more vaccine doses per 1,000 than Clark County (132.4, 121.1 and 111.9 doses per 1,000 people, respectively).
Clark County has administered 44,941 doses of the vaccine and 16,928 residents are fully vaccinated, receiving both doses. According to state Department of Health data, 8.26 percent of Clark County’s population has received one dose of the vaccine and 3.47 percent have received both doses.
In Spokane County, those numbers 13.48 percent and 5.28 percent, respectively.
“The providers have the capacity to give the vaccine and they’d be giving it if they had the vaccine to give,” Melnick said. “Our issue right now is vaccine allocation and how many doses we are getting.”
Melnick said the state determines vaccine allocation based on population size, vaccine throughput – how much vaccine a county is capable of administering – and other metrics.
Clark County Council Chair Eileen Quiring O’Brien said she’s frustrated by the data, referencing a chart with allocation statistics shown at Wednesday’s meeting.
“If (the state is) using metrics to distribute the vaccines, looking at this chart it does not look fair,” Quiring O’Brien said. “This is not our fault. Our public health department has an incident management team that is ready to administer vaccines. We have health care partners who are ready, willing and able to distribute vaccines. We don’t have the product to give. I just think it needs to be stated that it’s not the county who is doing this, as far as limiting supply or not acting in an efficient way.”