OLYMPIA, Wash. - The CDC is cutting Washington's coronavirus vaccine allocation by 40 percent next week, and other states are seeing similar cuts, according to Gov. Jay Inslee.
Inslee called the news "disruptive and frustrating" in a tweet posted Thursday morning.
"We need accurate, predictable numbers to plan and ensure on-the-ground success. No explanation was given," the governor said.
According to the governor's office, this does not impact the first 62,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arriving in Washington this week.
The state was expecting an additional 74,100 doses next week, according to the Department of Health. Inslee's office could not say yet how many fewer doses the state will receive, but If cut by 40%, that brings it down to 44,460 expected doses, delaying vaccinations for nearly 30,000 people.
The news comes a day after reports that each Pfizer vaccine vial contains six doses instead of five. The FDA authorized pharmacists to use what's left in the overfilled vials, a move that could expand the country's supply by 40 percent.
Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association, said the extra doses in the vials is good news, but it doesn't offset the loss in allocation from the CDC.
Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue will not be getting doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week because of the allocation cut, a hospital spokesperson said.
"At this time, it is unclear of when the Department of Health will be delivering the vaccine to our facility," said Chief Operating Officer Tom DeBord. "We are actively advocating for DOH to deliver this vaccine to Overlake Medical Center as soon as possible."
Pfizer, meanwhile, issued a statement asserting there are no problems with the vaccine's production or distribution.
"This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them," the statement reads. "We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses."
There are about 500,000 people in Washington eligible for the vaccine in the initial phase, authorities say. The state’s population is approximately 7.5 million.
"We are concerned this will slow vaccination at long-term care facilities and our ability to protect those who are most vulnerable. However, it does not change our commitment to getting all doses we are allocated out to healthcare providers and into the arms of Washingtonians," the governor's office said in a prepared statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.