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

Sound Publishing file photo
Remi Frederick, a Village Green employee, receives her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Jan. 26 in Federal Way.
County health officer looks to community immunity instead of herd immunity

Herd immunity may be unlikely to reach King County anytime soon, but… Continue reading

The mascot of Illahee Middle School, located at 36001 1st Ave. S., is under consideration due to a new law prohibiting the inappropriate use of Native American symbols and imagery. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
State law could affect mascots of three Federal Way schools

Three Federal Way schools may be affected by a recent bill approved… Continue reading

A Cymbidium Orchid captured at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
‘A Mother’s Prayer’ by Robert J. Darrigan

“A Mother’s Prayer” A Mother’s Prayer, Sustains her seed with a heavenly… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Vickie Chynoweth
Well-fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: Grilled chicken thighs with rhubarb sauce

This week’s recipe features fresh rhubarb, asparagus, olive oil and pita bread found at the Saturday market.

File photo
Serial slapper returns, sexually assaults two women in Federal Way | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log April 28 to May 4.

Federal Way approves $3 hazard pay raise for grocery store workers

The city ordinance was passed with a 5-2 council vote on May 4.

Courtesy photo
Police search for suspect in fatal shooting of 8-year-old Federal Way girl

The girl’s father was initially arrested by police, but further investigation has revealed a new suspect.

Most Read