Island Hospital expecting 800 COVID-19 vaccine doses

Brandon Stone, Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon, Wash.
·2 min read

Mar. 6—Island Hospital in Anacortes is expecting 800 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine next week after four consecutive weeks of receiving no vaccine allotment.

According to a news release from the hospital, CEO Charles Hall said his staff is eager to get back to work vaccinating the community after advocating to the state to once again receive doses.

"After four weeks of no allotments, we are very eager to receive vaccines for our community," he said in the release.

This comes alongside increases in vaccine shipments to providers locally and statewide.

New daily vaccinations have increased sharply in recent weeks, nearly reaching the state Department of Health's goal of 45,000 doses per day, according to state data.

Island Hospital will begin scheduling appointments Monday. Staff are reaching out to Anacortes School District personnel to offer appointments, according to the release.

Appointments will be available at islandhospital.org/covidvaccine. Individuals who need assistance registering can call 360-299-1367, the release states.

While the expected doses come as a relief to Hall and staff, the process of allocating doses remains unclear to providers.

Hall said he has repeatedly asked the Governor's Office, Department of Health and elected representatives why Island Hospital has gone without, but said in an interview Tuesday he hadn't gotten a satisfactory response.

Department of Health spokesperson Shelby Anderson said the department does not disclose the number of doses it allocates to individual facilities.

When allocating weekly deliveries, the department considers things such as the population of eligible groups and how quickly the provider has been able to distribute previous shipments, and the department works to ensure vulnerable groups in all counties have vaccine access, she said.

Hall said Anacortes is an older community, with 35% of those in Island Hospital's service area 65 or older.

While pharmacies in and around the city have been sent vaccines through a separate federal partnership, the number of doses they receive isn't shared.

He said the hospital has been sent all the second doses it has requested, meaning it's been able to fully vaccinate everyone who started the process.

Hall said he's asked state agencies why Island Hospital hasn't been delivered the vaccine, and was told it is an issue with the size of the federal allotment.

However, he said that's difficult to believe when other providers have started to see increases in their weekly shipments.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH