CHEHALIS – Local health officials are asking you to practice patience as the county awaits more COVID 19 vaccines. Lewis County Health and Social Services Director J.P. Anderson says, “A limited amount of vaccine for Lewis County is the limiting factor right now. We are working quite a bit, that’s really our focus right now is ensuring that the providers that have received vaccines are able to get that to the priority population which is front line healthcare workers (EMTs), those living in long term care facilities and healthcare workers.” The vaccines that have been allocated to date to Providence Centralia Hospital and Valley View Medical Centers by the State Department of Health is not enough to cover the DOH’s priority group of recipients. It’s a process of the pharmaceutical manufacturers sending the vaccine to the State Health Department and the state passing them on to local health care providers. According to the State Department of Health, the next priority group to be eligible for the vaccine are persons over 70 years of age or those over 50 living in multi-generational households. Vaccine availability for the general population may be months away. Anderson says once that happens, the county may “essentially make a site that could be used for multiple providers to not limit the number of vaccines we are able to distribute based on anything other than supply, and to scale up based on how much vaccine may become available.” 13 providers in Lewis County have asked to be approved by the State Department of Health to administer the vaccine, but so far only Providence Centralia and Valley View have been granted that approval.

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