Vaccination is one of the most important tools we can use to end the pandemic.
The COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out in phases starting with those most at risk for COVID-19 infection. Eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone in Washington State who wants it.
Meanwhile, remember that it is more important than ever to continue to wear masks, stay six feet (2m) apart, and avoid gatherings with people you don’t live with.
About the vaccine distribution process
Two vaccines are authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both vaccines are currently being distributed in Washington state.
In order to control the risk and get the vaccine to as many people as possible, Washington state developed a framework for vaccine allocation. The framework balances federal guidance with the unique needs of Washington State and seeks to address health inequities that stem from historical injustices.
Washington State Governor Inslee has set a goal of getting 45,000 Washingtonians vaccinated per day. At this rate, to vaccinate the entire population of 7,540,000 will tale 168 days. The process is on-going and will be evaluated as we go.
As of January 18, 2021, we have entered Phase 1b Tier 1 (see phases below in seasonal Vaccine Distribution sections)
For more information about vaccines, watch the following video “Making Sense of Vaccines During COVID-19” from the Washington State Department of Health:
Winter 2021 Vaccine Distribution
The following phases are anticipated to be completed this winter.
Phase 1a – Tier 1
- High-risk workers in health care settings (clinical judgment should be applied to identify who is at greatest risk using the guidance below)
- High-risk first responders (clinical judgment should be applied to identify who is at greatest risk using the guidance below)
- Residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals
over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance
Phase 1a – Tier 2
- All other workers at risk in health care settings
Phase 1b – Tier 1
- All people 65 years and older
- People 50 years and older in multi-generational household
Spring/Summer 2021 Vaccine Distribution
The following phases are anticipated to be completed in spring/summer.
Phase 1b – Tier 2
- High-risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate setting
Phase 1b – Tier 3
- People 16 years and older with 2 or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions
Phase 1b – Tier 4
- High risk critical workers under age 50 in certain congregate settings (as noted above in Tier 2)
- People (residents, staff, volunteers) in congregate living settings (e.g., correction facilities, prisons, jails, detention centers; group homes for
people with disabilities) and people experiencing homelessness that access services or live in congregate settings (e.g., shelters, temporary
Summer/Fall 2021 Vaccine Distribution
The following phases are anticipated to be completed this summer/fall.
- Critical workers in other settings in industries essential to the functioning of society and are at risk of exposure not already covered in Phase 1.
- People 16 years and older with 1 comorbidity or underlying condition not already covered in Phase 1.
- People with disabilities that prevent them from adopting protective measures.
- Workers in industries and occupations essential of the functioning of society and at increased risk of exposure not included in Phase 1 or 2.
- Young adults/children under 16 years (if vaccine is authorized for children under 16)
- Everyone residing in Washington State who did not have access to vaccine in previous phases.
Check your vaccine eligibility
Check your eligibility to see when you can get the Covid-19 vaccine under WA State guidelines, using the Phase Finder Tool.
If you are eligible in the current phase, find out where you can get the vaccine using the Vaccine Locations Map from the Washington State Department of Health
For the details about vaccine prioritization, consult the 10-page summary: SummaryInterimVaccineAllocationPriortization.pdf (wa.gov)