Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan

COVID-19 vaccines come to St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way

Two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in the United States, and distribution of the vaccines is underway to staff at Washington hospitals, including Federal Way’s St. Francis Hospital.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Washington on Dec. 14. The two-dose vaccine is given 21 days apart and is the first vaccine to be distributed to frontline essential workers.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup on Dec. 20 and is expected to arrive in Washington this week, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

The CHI Franciscan system, which includes St. Francis, was one of the first hospital systems in the state to received Pfizer vaccine shipments on Dec. 14. CHI may begin to receive initial doses of the Moderna vaccine as soon as Dec. 22 or Dec. 23, according to a CHI spokesperson.

“We have extensive steps in place to begin vaccinating employees this week. We are following federal, state and public health guidelines to support equitable allocation of the vaccine among our health care workers,” said Cary Evans, vice president of communications and government affairs for CHI.

The criteria for selecting which staff members or departments receive the vaccine first factors in consideration for those most at risk for exposure to COVID-19.

A total of 2,500 vaccines were distributed across the CHI system last week, including to staff at St. Francis beginning Dec. 17, according to a CHI spokesperson. This week, CHI is expecting to contribute 3,000 vaccines.

In early December, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that the federal government recently released hospital-level data that includes how many inpatient beds are occupied by coronavirus patients.

Using that data, NPR and the University of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project created a new tool, which shows that across King County, about 10 percent of hospital beds on average are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Within King County, Federal Way’s St. Francis is among the most strained of local hospitals with one of the highest percentage rates dealing with 20% of its beds being occupied by victims of the virus and 81% of its beds occupied overall, as of Dec. 21. St. Francis has a total of 124 beds.

The 7-day average daily intake of COVID-19 patients at St. Francis is 25.

As of Dec. 20, Federal Way has had 599 positive COVID-19 infections in the previous 14 days, with an overall total of 4,583 since Feb. 28. Of those positive cases, there have been 288 hospitalizations (rate of 6.3% of all positive cases) and 53 deaths (for a rate of 1.2% of all positive cases).

Enumclaw Courier-Herald Editor Ray Miller-Still contributed to this report.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Judge's gavel
2 Northwest Territorial Mint employees federally convicted of mail, wire fraud felonies

The now-bankrupt company had offices in Federal Way and Auburn; total loss to customers more than $25 million

Critical race theory became a political buzzword last fall after Gig Harbor resident Christopher Rufo (right) joined commentator Tucker Carlson on Fox News. (Screenshot from YouTube broadcast)
Educational merit of critical race theory sparks heated debate

In Washington, schools have seen parents protest and threaten to remove their children from schools.

The King County Courthouse. File photo
Sexual assault leads to calls for closing King County Courthouse

Crime is rising in the ’dangerous environment that has surrounded our seat of government.’

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations are rising in Washington

Data suggests the vaccine is effective in preventing hospitalization for COVID-19

File photo
King County Council OKs millions for courts overwhelmed by pandemic backlog

Some lawyers testified that the backlog has created an “access to justice” problem.

Courtesy photo
1 man dead after shooting leads to crash in Federal Way

Police do not have suspect information.

Mirror photo
Hometown Hero: Federal Way’s finance director retires

Federal Way Finance Director Adé Ariwoola retiring after 35-year career.

Screenshot
Legislators target local community building projects

Money will go toward affordable housing, youth services and more in Federal Way area.

Chamber CEO Rebecca Martin, courtesy photo
Federal Way Chamber CEO selected for Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives fellowship

Fellowship program designed to support chambers as they refine their inclusive economic recovery goals.

Most Read