January 6, 2021
WA Department of Health Releases Next Phase of Vaccine Prioritizations
Yesterday, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released guidance for phase 1B, which is the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine prioritization. DOH worked closely with the Governor’s Office to finalize prioritization for phase 1B, while also relying on federal guidance and public input through focus groups, interviews, and surveys over the past few months.
This guidance is for planning purposes only. Washington State and Skagit County will remain in Phase 1A of vaccinations until all Phase 1A individuals who want the vaccines have it. As a reminder, Phase 1A includes:
Tier 1: High risk workers in health care settings; High risk first responders; and 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.
Tier 2: All workers in healthcare settings.
Skagit County Public Health and its partner providers are ready to vaccinate our community; however, the ability to do so remains reliant on when and how much vaccine is received from the State. Current allocations have been very limited. To date, Skagit County has only received vaccine to meet approximately 25% of our 1A eligible workers and long term care facility residents. Phase 1A will need to be completed before we will be able to move on to Phase 1B in Skagit County.
People should not expect Skagit County to move into Phase 1B until February at the earliest. If we receive greater dose allocations from the state, this timing will improve. Public Health will announce movement into the next phase of vaccinations via our press release system, web site and social media. Sign up here to get press releases from Skagit County.
“Skagit County Public Health and our partner providers have put a lot of time and effort into preparing for this moment,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director. “We are ready! As soon as we receive a consistent supply of vaccine from the State and are clear to begin phase 1B, we will let Skagitonians know how and where to get vaccinated.”
Due to limited vaccine availability, Phase 1B has been broken up into four separate tiers. Groups eligible for vaccination in phase 1B will include:
Phase 1B1 - (Tier 1)
- All people 70 years and older
- People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households
Phase 1B2 - (Tier 2)
- High risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate settings: Agriculture; food processing; grocery stores; K-12 (teachers and school staff); childcare; corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement
Phase 1B3 - (Tier 3)
- People 16 years or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions
Phase 1B4 - (Tier 4)
- High-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings under 50 years
- People, staff and volunteers all ages in congregate living settings:
- Correctional facilities; group homes for people with disabilities; people experiencing homelessness that live in or access services in congregate settings
WA DOH has also announced the creation of the Phase Finder online tool that allows people to assess their eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. It is currently being tested for Phase 1A eligible individuals and will launch broadly on January 18th. Phase Finder will be available in multiple languages and will be used to confirm individual eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine.
For COVID-19 vaccine information, visit our webpage at www.skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine