2 million people become eligible as Washington advances COVID-19 vaccinations by two tiers

OLYMPIA, Wash. — From the moment that vaccines became cleared for use in the United States, Washington has efficiently streamlined its resources to inoculate Washingtonians from COVID-19. After originally expecting to advance close to the end of April, Washington state will advance two tiers in its coronavirus vaccination efforts on March 31. This means that two million Washingtonians will become eligible for vaccination on that date.

Governor Jay Inslee announced this change during a press conference on Thursday afternoon. The Governor noted that increased access to vaccine doses and accelerating vaccination rates in Washington state are major contributing factors to this decision.

By advancing two tiers, a great sum of Washingtonians will become eligible for the vaccine. In addition to everyone eligible up to this point in the state’s vaccination timeline, people who meet the following conditions will also become eligible:

  • Anyone with two or more comorbidities
  • Anyone between the ages of 60 and 64
  • Anyone living in congregate settings (correctional facilities, group homes for those with disabilities, those experiencing homelessness, etc.)
  • Additional workers in congregate settings (restaurants, manufacturing, construction)

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More details on this shift are coming in the near future. For the time being, you can visit the Washington State Department of Health’s Phase Finder tool to check your vaccine eligibility. That tool will be updated in the coming weeks with additional information to help Washingtonians make sense of their place in line.

Additionally, the state provided an update on public-private partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and private entities throughout Washington. The DOH’s Vaccine Action Command and Coordination System Center works with dozens of private entities to ensure vaccinations are more available throughout the state.

These efforts are being increased to ensure that vaccinations are more accessible. The DOH is working on a Vaccine Locator tool to ensure that people can secure vaccination appointments safely and easily in their area. Additionally, the state is teaming up with Amazon to increase its state vaccine hotline, adding more customer service representatives to assist.

Lastly, but certainly not least, Challenge Seattle is working to publish a playbook for mass vaccination sites. This should help teams that operate these locations run a smoother operation as the demand for vaccinations increases.

VACCINATION HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP-KVEW NEWS STAFF:

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