Washington to receive more vaccine doses, request more due to omicron concerns

WASHINGTON — News of the omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, has caused demand for vaccine boosters to skyrocket in Washington State.

“There is a temporary bulge in the pipeline because people have come in droves in the last few days,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

This week alone, he says the state’s vaccine locator website has seen a 70% bump in traffic.

The state’s vaccine hotline has seen a 30% increase in calls as well.

“We know that’s all going to smooth out. We’re doing everything that we can to increase capacity and bring more vaccine into the state,” said Dr. Umir Shah of the Washington State Department of Health.

The federal government has already promised 30,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Washington.

And the state is asking for an additional 80,000 doses.

“You can’t have, all of a sudden, tens of thousands of people wake up and decide they want the booster and all of a sudden have everything happen in the first eight hours,” said Inslee.