‘We need them to hustle up’; Gov. Inslee pressures local, federal partners to speed up vaccine rollout

SPOKANE, Wash.– Washington Governor Jay Inslee is putting more pressure on local providers and federal partners to fix Washington’s vaccine rollout.

The state moved into Phase 1B on Monday and rolled out a comprehensive plan to speed up the distribution of this vaccine.

Part of that plan includes setting up mass vaccination sites, which the Spokane Arena will serve as starting next week.

RELATED: Spokane Arena to be mass COVID-19 vaccination site

In the meantime, Governor Inslee said everyone needs to be a little more patient.

“Patience is going to be one of the most important assets for us in the upcoming weeks and months,” Inslee said.

Patience is hard to maintain when you or your loved ones are already facing health issues. It gets even harder when you see a sign of hope in the COVID-19 vaccine but can’t get your hands on it.

That’s what one Spokane woman is dealing with now.

She reached out to us with a message last week about her mom living in a long-term care facility.

She didn’t want to be identified, but she said “My mom was scheduled to get her shot today, and I got an email after 5pm last night essentially postponing her shot until later this month.”

She went onto tell us “My mom is 81 and has had multiple heart attacks in the past & 5 days before the first lockdown in March a double stroke. I think she qualifies.”

Governor Inslee said situations like this are unfortunately expected as providers wait for the vaccine.

“We’re gonna have to accept if you make an appointment with your provider and it turns out the dosage didn’t get there in time,” Inslee said.

That’s where the patience comes into play; the woman who reached out to us said she actually just found a way to get her mom the vaccine Tuesday afternoon through MultiCare.

Many of you who qualify for Washington’s current phases are still waiting for answers. That’s why Inslee said local providers need to kick it into high gear.

“The state has given them doses… we need them to hustle up here,” Inslee said.

So far, Washington has used just 42 percent of its doses.

Inslee said doses were being reserved just in case the federal government somehow ran out.

Now, he’s confident that won’t happen and wants providers to create more capacity and appointments.

“There may have been kind of an attitude that we’ll wait for the doses then we’ll get appointments for people who come in. We need to reverse that,” Inslee said. “We need our partners to be thinking on the balls of their feet, so they’re preparing to have the vaccine delivered.”