EAST WENATCHEE — The Chelan-Douglas Health District is trying to figure out how it will help facilitate the wider population getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.
It’s a challenge because, unlike the flu shot, the COVID-19 vaccines, both Pfizer and Moderna, are delivered in batches of around 10, Health Officer Dr. Malcolm Butler said. So it makes sense to vaccinate groups of people instead of having individuals go to a pharmacy or doctor’s office, like they would to get the flu shot.
“We sort of need a vaccination center where they’re opening up 10 doses at a time and they need 10 people in line who can come in and all get vaccinated,” Butler said.
The health district is likely to try to deliver the vaccines from one central location, maybe in Wenatchee or East Wenatchee, he said, rather than creating multiple vaccination centers in multiple cities.
“The logistics are so complex and if we try and set up a vaccination center in Leavenworth and in Peshastin and in Waterville, it’s just too much,” Butler said.
The health district is estimating it will need to vaccinate about 1,000 people a day at that one location when things really get going, he said.
None of these details are set in stone, though, Butler said. It appears the first two groups to get vaccinated, medical workers and long-term care centers, are well underway.
“Actually, my understanding is that we are doing better than most parts of the state,” he said. “Probably just because we have a smaller, more cohesive community.”
The state Department of Health is rolling out a PhaseFinder app, as well, that will help tell people when they will be eligible to get vaccinated, Butler said. People will be able to insert some demographic data about themselves, such as if they have a chronic illness, and find out when they’ll be eligible to be vaccinated.
The app is available at wwrld.us/2JS666u.