Washington marks one year of COVID-19 vaccinations

One year ago today, the first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Washington.

The State Department of Health is commemorating the one-year anniversary of COVID vaccines in Washington, which marked the first steps to returning to normalcy during the pandemic. Since Dec. 2020, more than 11 million doses of vaccine have been administered statewide; and more than 5.4 million of the state's roughly 7.8 million people have gotten their first shot.

DOH attributes the success of the vaccine rollout to health care workers, first responders and community members.

"It is amazing to see how far we have come in just one year," said Secretary of Health Umair Shah. "From mass vaccination sites, to public-private partnerships through the Vaccine Action Command and Coordination System (VACCS) Center, mobile vaccination efforts through Care-a-Van, and more, it is clear this response has taken an immense amount of ingenuity and hard work. I am proud to serve as the state’s Secretary of Health and call Washington home."

RELATED: Scientists in Washington researching COVID-19 Omicron variant to help protect public

In the fall, vaccine eligibility opened to children ages 5–11, and in just six weeks more than 158,000 kids received their first dose.

"I’m proud of how far our state has come over the past year. Getting millions of people vaccinated – and more than 1.3 million people an additional dose – is no easy feat. I want to send a heartfelt thank you to each and every person who has helped us achieve these milestones," said Chief Science Officer Dr. Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett. "As we head into 2022, I want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and boosted to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our community as a whole."

Health officials are now pushing for people to get their booster shots, and still implore the 1.7 million Washingtonians who remain unvaccinated to get their shots, as well.

RELATED: Fauci: Americans may 'just have to deal with' more COVID boosters

READ MORE: Public Health: King County patient with Omicron variant has 'mild illness,' not hospitalized

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