CAMANO ISLAND, Wash. - Vaccination clinics are running short on supply of COVID-19 vaccines across our region. The shortages are hitting rural areas especially hard including a clinic on Camano Island where officials received fewer doses than anticipated.
Another round of vaccination clinics was canceled this week due to a lack of supply. Officials said 1,200 doses had been ordered for delivery by the state, but nothing arrived.
"Two days later I had a little tenderness," explained Tom Hull. He had already been administered the first dose of the vaccine and said his plans depend on receiving the second.
His plans depend on making sure he gets the second.
"It could be my life," said Hull. "Usually we’re in Arizona but we’re not going down there until we’re vaccinated."
Vaccine supplies, however, were being reported as unavailable in many parts of Washington. The topic was discussed during a Zoom call hosted by the Washington State Hospital Association.
"The federal supply is supposed to go up," the organization’s Cassie Sauer said of the issue.
"We’ve been vaccinating for a month and a half," said Ken Dietrich from Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma, Washington. "This last week we’ve received no vaccine allocation."
"The supply is just not there to meet the demand," added Shane McGuire, CEO of Columbia County Health System in Dayton, Washington. "I think every hospital can tell you that across the state."
The association says the state told hospitals the doses intended for patients’ second shots instead had to be used as first doses for those waiting in line.
"This week and next week we think there’s going to be a lack of first dose appointments available," said Sauer.
Officials at the association said they are anticipating an increase in the vaccine from the federal government.
State health officials say the vaccine’s second dose may be administered 6 weeks after the first dose of vaccine.
And for those 65 and older and others 55 and up living in a multigenerational home could begin scheduling.