Friends and Neighbors:
I was informed this morning that the very first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in King County earlier today. Needless to say, this is a major step in the fight to stop coronavirus and return life back to normal. The fight isnít over yet, but this is a momentous and great day in our nationís history.
If your family is like mine, you have a lot of questions about whatís next. Who gets the first doses? Where will they be distributed? What can I do to make sure my loved ones are protected? Well, we donít have all the answers quite yet, but I wanted to pass along the latest information I have received from state and local officials.
The stateís plan calls for the first doses to be administered to high-risk health workers, as well as staff and residents of long-term care facilities. This means around 500,000 people in Washington will be eligible for the vaccine during this initial phase. Read more details about phase 1a here.
Weíll know more about who will be vaccinated in later phases from guidance made by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. You can view the stateís interim plan on their coronavirus vaccine webpage, www.CovidVaccineWA.org. If everything goes to plan, the majority of Washingtonians will be vaccinated by mid-summer.
The Pfizer vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, given 21 days apart. Clinical trial data show the vaccine is 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection starting 7 days after the second dose. Individuals will not be considered fully protected until 1 to 2 weeks after they receive the second dose. The clinical trials revealed no major unanticipated adverse events.
As soon as I receive information on the latest prioritization guides for future vaccine phases Iíll reach out immediately. The fight isnít over yet, but with patience and diligence, weíll get through this. Light is officially at the end of the tunnel.
Councilmember Girmay Zahilay