Most states vaccinating more people than Washington

VIDEO: Washington ranks low when it comes to administering COVID-19 vaccines

SEATTLE — New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show most states are getting more people vaccinated than Washington.

CBS News reviewed data showing Washington is not administering COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as most other states and is in bottom 20 of the list.

But experts told KIRO 7 that there’s a lot of factors to consider.

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KIRO 7 asked University of Washington Bothell’s vaccine expert Dr. Dan Bustillos to weigh in after seeing vaccination numbers ranging drastically across the country.

For example, West Virginia administered 77% of its available vaccines so far while Washington is sitting at 34%, which is lower than the national average of 35%. As of Jan. 14, Washington had administered 225,238 doses out of the 655,575 vaccines that have been distributed.

Bustillos said there’s a reason why some states are way ahead.

“The states that are performing really well are usually bucking the national CDC guidelines and distributing the vaccine to everyone right away,” he said.

So while Washington may be low on the list of COVID-19 vaccinations given per state, experts say the state is being far more careful about who gets the vaccine.

“The ones that are at highest risk of dying of COVID-19 are the ones who are actually receiving the doses,” Bustillos said.

And while the data shows the country overall is making progress, Bustillos says each state’s unique distribution plan makes it tough to compare which states are the best or worse when it comes to vaccinating residents.

“(There are) a lot of things you have to take into consideration before you make a judgement or assessment about whether a state is doing poorly,” said Bustillos.

The state is hoping to fill in the gaps by doubling vaccinations and plan to reach 70% of people older than the age of 16 in the next seven months.