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Washington state to receive fewer COVID-19 vaccine doses in coming weeks

An issue at a manufacturing facility producing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is the cause of the shortage, just as more people become eligible.

Editor's note: The above video regarding the study of the long-term effects of COVID-19 vaccines aired April 7, 2021.

A three-week forecast from the federal government shows there will be a "substantial decrease" in the number of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses being delivered to Washington state facilities. 

The shortage in doses comes as everyone 16 and older becomes eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on April 15.

"Our three-week forecast does show a significant drop in Johnson and Johnson," said SheAnne Allen, the state's vaccine director.

On April 1, the state expected to receive 109,000 Johnson & Johnson doses in the first full week of April, and 41,000 each week for the following two weeks.

Now, the state expects 12,900 Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses for the week of April 11, and 4,300 doses in subsequent weeks.

That drops total doses delivered to facilities throughout the state from an anticipated 412,570 doses in the second week of April to 386,810. The state expects to receive 355,980 doses in the third week, and about the same amount in the fourth week of April.

Nearly 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine were ruined at a manufacturing plant in Baltimore. However, the state was told it should not have a major impact on allocations and Johnson & Johnson is on track to meet its target of producing 100 million doses by the end of May.

The number of Pfizer and Moderna doses being delivered in April remains stable, with the number of those doses being delivered to be slightly higher than previously anticipated, according to the state Department of Health.