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What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in Washington Friday

The first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are the same. What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in Washington Friday.

Washington state ready for influx of COVID-19 vaccine after week of delays

If you have an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine this weekend you might want to check with your provider and ask if your appointment is still on.

About 90% of the state's COVID-19 vaccine supply was caught up in winter weather shipping delays in other parts of the country, which resulted in some Washington vaccine clinics and appointments being postponed or canceled this week.

But health officials also said they're ready to distribute the backlog of vaccines expected to arrive in Washington state by the middle of next week.

Many of the delayed appointments this week were for second doses, but health officials have said delaying a second dose should not be a problem.

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QFC, Fred Meyer to join other Washington pharmacies in offering vaccine

QFC and Fred Meyer are now among the Washington pharmacies that will partner with the federal government on COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Locally owned Costco as well as Safeway had already been administering COVID-19 shots.

The deal is meant to speed up distribution and reach more people. The doses are in addition to what the federal government is providing to states.

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Data: Pfizer vaccine highly effective after 1 dose, can be stored in normal freezer temps

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is 85% effective just 15-28 days after the first dose, according to a new study out of Israel, adding further debate over whether second doses should be delayed to vaccinate more people. 

The study involved health care workers at Sheba Medical Center in Israel and was published in The Lancet journal

Pfizer also announced Friday that it had submitted new data showing that its vaccine could be stored at regular freezer temperature for two weeks, instead of having to keep it constantly at ultra-cold temperatures. Pfizer said it submitted the data to the Food and Drug Administration to support a proposed update to the U.S. Emergency Use Authorization. 

The FDA warned that providers should stick to its recommendations.

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VERIFY: Yes, the 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are the same

We often hear about health care facilities and residents waiting to receive second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. But is there a difference between the first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

Pfizer and Moderna both reported their vaccines are roughly 95% effective in preventing the virus, but a person needs two shots to get that level of protection. While you need two doses for it to be fully effective, both the first and second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are the same.

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Pfizer, BioNTech launch first COVID-19 vaccine trial for pregnant women

Drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech have begun a nine-country study of the safety and effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women.

The companies said Thursday that the first volunteers have received shots in the study, which is to enroll about 4,000 healthy pregnant women aged 18 and older.

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2 women dressed up to get COVID-19 vaccine, Florida health official says

Two women tried to get their second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by disguising themselves as "grannies," an Orange County health official said Thursday. 

Somehow, they had been successful getting their first dose, Dr. Raul Pino of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said during a news conference.

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How to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released an online portal to check your eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. Use the Phase Finder tool to input personal information like age, health conditions and essential worker status to determine if it's your turn.

As of Jan. 18, Washington is vaccinating people in Phase 1A and the first tier of Phase 1B. That includes:

  • High-risk health care workers and first responders
  • Long-term care residents
  • People 65 years old and older
  • People 50 years old and older in multigenerational households

If you are eligible, find a list of vaccine providers on the DOH website and information on how to make an appointment.

LIST: Mass COVID-19 vaccine sites in western Washington