Washington moves into Phase 1B of vaccinations, announces Vaccine Command and Coordination Center

Washington
Photo by Elaine Thompson
Registered nurse Allison Miller administers one of the first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations at UW Medicine Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in Seattle.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state is preparing to go full-steam ahead with COVID-19 vaccinations. During a press conference on Monday, January 18, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the state is entering Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations.

By moving into Phase 1B, people age 65 and older automatically become eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. The Governor says that roughly 80 percent of COVID-19-related deaths in Washington have been people age 65 and older, which is reflected in Phase 1B.

Additionally, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) is now incorporating public/private partnerships to increase vaccinations statewide. The initiative is being dubbed the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center.

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By teaming up with private health care providers, businesses and labor leaders, the state hopes to increase availability and access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

The ultimate goal of the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center is to vaccinate the state more efficiently. By partnering with private entities, the state aspires to administer more vaccines than ever.

Gov. Inslee set a new goal: 45,000 vaccinations per day in Washington state. Based on limited resources, it may be a difficult milestone to achieve. Regardless, these new efforts may be enough to achieve 45,000 daily vaccinations once these new initiatives are fully operational.

In addition to local and private partnerships, the state will set up more vaccination centers in places of need. That includes a new vaccination center in Kennewick at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

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The state is instilling new vaccine requirements for public and private vaccination efforts. As of today, 95 percent of vaccine doses allocated must be administered within a week. Vaccination centers must submit data to the state promptly to get the most of out of these limited resources.

COVID-19 first hit the states a year ago as of this week in the state of Washington. Statewide efforts to stop the curve and limit community spread have been successful compared with those of other states.

Even with that being the case, there’s still a long road to recovery from the ramifications of COVID-19. With science in their corner, Washington’s public health officials are paving the way for an escape from this pandemic.

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