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What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in Washington Monday

Washington state has given more than 1.38 million total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Here's what you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in Washington Monday.

How many people in Washington have been vaccinated for COVID-19?

Washington state continues to push ahead towards its goal of administering 45,000 COVID-19 vaccines per day. 

As of Feb. 22, 2021, the state has administered more than 1.38 million total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 12.73% of the state's population — about 960,680 people — have initiated vaccination and have had one shot, according to the Washington State Department of Health's COVID-19 data dashboard. Read more

VERIFY: Is Johnson & Johnson working on a two-dose vaccine?

Yes, Johnson & Johnson is working on a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine that is still in trials. Johnson & Johnson provided the VERIFY team with an infographic that illustrates the phases of their COVID-19 vaccine trials, run by its Janssen pharmaceutical companies. 

It shows they have two ongoing phase three trials: one for a single-dose regimen, and another for a two-dose regimen. Read more

Washington seniors frustrated by lack of COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Many seniors in western Washington are growing increasingly frustrated as the state starts talks about moving into the next tier of the COVID-19 vaccine plan, while many still can’t find an appointment.

"As a state, we're still well below 50% [of those eligible, vaccinated] so we have work to do to catch everybody up," said Michele Roberts, the assistant secretary of health for the state Department of Health (DOH). Read more

VERIFY: Can you test positive for COVID-19 long after you're contagious?

Is it possible to test positive for COVID-19 long after being contagious? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says yes, and it's possible for testing to pick up the virus weeks after first getting ill. 

Dr. David Priest, an infectious disease specialist, weighed in on how that can happen. "PCR testing is really sensitive," Priest said. That sensitivity can lead to faulty assumptions about a person's contagiousness. Read more

US on verge of vaccine breakthrough as manufacturing ramps up

Limited supply of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines has hampered the pace of vaccinations. But the United States is on the verge of a supply breakthrough as manufacturing ramps up and with the expectation of a third vaccine becoming available in the coming weeks.

That means the act of delivering injections will soon be the dominant constraint, and it's prompting the Biden administration to push to dramatically expand the universe of those who will deliver injections and where Americans will meet them to get their shots. Read more

Down syndrome community feels left out of vaccine plan

A Washington family with a son who has Down syndrome says they assumed he'd qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine, until they were turned away from a clinic and told Down syndrome is not yet a vaccine qualification in the state.

The family is now pushing state health leaders to change the qualifications.

A study in the United Kingdom found people with Down syndrome have a 10 times higher risk of dying from COVID-19. Read more

How to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released an online portal to check your eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. Use the Phase Finder tool to input personal information like age, health conditions and essential worker status to determine if it's your turn.

As of Jan. 18, Washington is vaccinating people in Phase 1A and the first tier of Phase 1B. That includes:

  • High-risk health care workers and first responders
  • Long-term care residents
  • People 65 years old and older
  • People 50 years old and older in multigenerational households

If you are eligible, find a list of vaccine providers on the DOH website and information on how to make an appointment.

LIST: Mass COVID-19 vaccine sites in western Washington