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News and Information
January 15, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccination Update: Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Administers Nearly 20,000 Doses to Date
January 15 marks one month since CHI Franciscan, now part of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, administered its first COVID-19 vaccine dose. The system has now administered more than 18,000 vaccine doses for those currently eligible and is expected to surpass 20,000 doses over the weekend. As additional vaccine supply is received, the health system is preparing to vaccinate members of the Tier B1 population within the Washington State Department of Health’s vaccination plan.
At this time, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is scheduling appointments for all available doses of the vaccine. The hospital system maintains enough vaccine supply on hand for seven days of scheduled appointments.
“We are committed to administering the COVID vaccine as quickly as possible to all who are eligible. Our hospital system quickly ramped up the capacity to administer more than 1,500 doses every day. However, the weekly vaccine deliveries we receive dictate the number of appointments we are able to schedule each week. We look forward to receiving more doses in the coming weeks so we can expand our efforts to more members of our communities,” said Eric Wymore, Vice President of Pharmacy Services for Virginia Mason Franciscan Health hospitals.
The process for administering the vaccine is complex, requiring vaccine clinics at each hospital to complete documentation to screen, schedule, and track every eligible individual who receives the vaccine. Careful scheduling is required to maximize capacity without overbooking or wasting doses. Scheduling also requires coordination to ensure second dose appointments are for the same vaccine received in dose one. Transferring the vaccine from the freezers to the vaccine cinics is tightly controlled and time-managed so it does not spoil.
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health hospitals share vaccine resources across its hospitals throughout the region to ensure supplies are allocated appropriately and meet the demand of each community. The organization has also been working closely with other hospitals throughout Washington state to transfer vaccines if they are in need of additional supply, or to acquire excess supply in order to increase access in other communities.
“We recognize the importance of the vaccine to fight the devastation COVID-19 has brought to our communities. We continue to follow the guidance outlined by the Washington State Department of Health,” said Michael H. Anderson, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. “Our employees have been working around the clock to care for patients, while simultaneously facilitating an unprecedented vaccination effort led almost entirely by local hospitals. I thank them for their dedication to our community, and urge the public to continue to stay safe and protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19.”
Patients can visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Information page for additional information and are encouraged to check back for updates. Patients will also be updated via MyChart as new information is available.