WA to start phase 1B COVID-19 vaccinations in ‘coming days’

VIDEO: WA to start phase 1B COVID vaccinations in 'coming days'

On Wednesday, the Washington Department of Health announced the state will move to phase 1B in the “coming days.” This is speeding up the timeline introduced exactly one week ago.

Health care workers in phase 1A are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible before the vaccinations open up to other groups. Next on the list is phase 1B, referring to the group they’ve labeled as B1 that includes everyone 70 and older, and those age 50 and older in multigenerational households.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar ordered states to speed up the process and start vaccinating everyone 65 and older. Washington has not made that change yet, but acknowledged it is listening to the announcements by the federal government and figuring out how to react.

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On Monday, Azar said that if states didn’t pick up the pace, this could impact the amount of vaccine they get in the future.

While Washington health officials admit the state got off to a rocky start, the Department of Health stated 15,000 to 20,000 people are being vaccinated every day.

To find out whether you qualify for the next phase, the Department of Health has set up a website called Phase Finder >>https://wadoh.jotform.com/203418436942154.

Washington has received 624,975 doses of vaccine. As of Jan. 11, it had administered 201,660 doses, or about 32% of the total doses.

Some states are setting up mass vaccination sites, including one in Disneyland in California. It requires people to register online in advance.

Health officials here said that federal officials are making it impossible to plan. They are finding out only a week in advance how many vaccine doses the state will get, and this is something that needs to change to increase the vaccination rate.

As DOH prepares to move toward phase 1B for vaccinations, here’s the distribution for phase 1A, tiers 1 and 2.

Distribution to the phase 1A priority groups is happening in the following ways:

  • Long-Term Care Facilities: The federal and state governments have set up partnerships with pharmacies to vaccinate adults working in or residing in long-term care facilities. Pharmacies are working directly with care facilities to schedule vaccine clinics.
  • Workers in high-risk health care settings: A growing number of hospitals and health care facilities in King County are enrolled to receive the vaccine. As supplies increase and staffing and scheduling systems are put into place, more facilities will expand vaccinations to eligible health care staff that do not work for them.

Phase 1A tier 2 will include all workers in health care settings. Vaccination of Tier 2 will begin after completion of Tier 1.

For additional information on how to get vaccinated, what do after your vaccination and preparation for the next phase, follow this link.