Washington state could receive 400,000 COVID-19 vaccines in December

Washington state could receive more than 400,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines before the New Year, according to the Department of Health.

Pending emergency approval by the FDA, expected later this week, the state is anticipating a first shipment from Pfizer next week totaling around 62,000 doses. By the end of the month, the state expects to get 222,000 total doses from the company.

If Moderna’s vaccine is granted emergency authorization next week, Washington is set to gain another 180,000 doses the last two weeks of the calendar year.

In total, the state would receive 402,000 doses, with the first injections going to front line health care workers. The expected shipments have been adjusted down from what the state originally expected to receive, according to DOH Acting Assistant Secretary Michele Roberts. But the state did not immediately say by how much.

RELATED: Inslee extends latest Covid-19 restrictions in Washington state through Jan. 4

Multiple states have reported that federal officials downgraded the amount of doses anticipated in December after constraints on the supply.

Roberts also reported that they did not know how many vaccines the state could expect in January’s weekly shipments, but did say that the federal government is ensuring that everyone who receives an initial first dose from December’s shipment will receive a second dose in the weeks that follow. Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines require two doses to be effective.

RELATED: Local hospitals secure hard-to-get freezers to store first COVID-19 vaccine

While the state has identified initial distribution sites for the vaccines, expected next week, Roberts said they are not disclosing that information, citing “security concerns.”

To date, 189 organizations are fully enrolled as vaccine providers in the state, with more applications being processed.