Spokane Regional Health, local providers pressured to vaccinate more or risk losing doses

SPOKANE, Wash.– If Governor Jay Inslee wants 45,000 people vaccinated per day in Washington, providers are going to have to pick up the pace.

The new vaccine dashboard launched by the Washington Department of Health shows Spokane County has vaccinated just 3 percent of the county’s population of roughly 520,000 people.

Statewide, just 42 percent of Washington’s vaccine doses have been used.

Governor Inslee sent a clear message to healthcare providers around the state as he demanded they use the vaccine doses or send them elsewhere.

“We as a provider are utilizing about 90-percent of our doses every week,” Kayla Myers of SRHD said. “Now we know we need to up it to 95 percent or else they’re going to redistribute our doses.”

Spokane Regional Health said that messaging is what local providers need as more doses are now going to pharmacies, clinics and even grocery stores, like Safeway.

Safeway had about 400 doses to give out at its Spokane Valley location, and it didn’t take long for the pharmacy to run out of those doses. More are on the way, though.

“They have the ability to get the doses out in a timely manner, and they received the doses,” Myers said.

You’ll have to call or check online with your local store before just showing up as appointments and doses are at a premium.

Providers and the Spokane Regional Health District are trying to speed up this process but are struggling to get on the same page.

Some providers are even relying on Google to send out this vaccine.

“I know other providers in the community we actually were told they are googling long-term care facilities and just calling them, because they have vaccines and they want to help,” Myers said.

Even though Washington is in Phase 1B now, vaccinating people over 65 and those older than 50 in multigenerational homes, most providers are still trying to finish the previous phases.

“I know that it’s frustrating, but I think what I’m hearing from organizations is that they have 1A individuals waiting and filling up those appointment slots,” Myers said.

4 News Now has heard from people receiving the vaccines that MultiCare has been the quickest option as the provider has even vaccinated some people in Phase 1B, while appointments last.

RELATED: SRHD still working to get healthcare workers vaccinated, even as state moves to Phase B1