Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County

Residents 65 and older eligible under new COVID-19 vaccination phase

Inslee announces the move to Phase 1b; Find your eligibility through Phase Finder

By Everett Herald staff

The state is ready for Phase 1b of the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan, making more than a million Washingtonians eligible for potentially life-saving shots, Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday.

In the newly revised Phase 1b, all residents 65 and older, and those 50 and older who live in multigenerational households, can now get their first shot of the vaccine.

“This is taking place immediately,” Inslee said during a Monday news conference. “The only way to beat this pandemic is to get vaccinated.”

The governor also announced mass vaccination sites in four parts of the state as early as next week, larger dose allotments to Snohomish, King and Pierce counties, and new rules for providers that require them to use what they receive each week, rather than hold onto them.

The moves are part of an ambitious ramp-up to vaccinate 45,000 people a day — roughly quadrupling the current pace — if and when the supply of medication is available.

To get there, Inslee is enlisting the expertise of industry giants Microsoft, Costco, Starbucks and Kaiser Permanente to assist in administering the statewide program.

“This is a massive effort, unlike any we have undertaken in modern history,” Inslee said. “There are simply too many people who need access to COVID vaccines for this process to lag any further.”

Under Phase 1b, about 1.5 million Washingtonians are now eligible for the vaccine.

With a limited supply of vaccine doses, it may take weeks for people to schedule their shot, however.

“Patience is going to be one of the most important assets for us in the upcoming weeks and months,” Inslee said.

Legislative leaders in both parties have expressed concern about the state’s sluggish rate of vaccination. Monday’s announcement is viewed as an important step toward picking up the pace.

“Our real goal is to do everything we can to get vaccines in arms as soon as it gets here in Washington state,” House Speaker Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, said Monday.

Per the state Department of Health, a multigenerational home is any residence in which people of two or more generations live.

“We know communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 often live in multigenerational households,” state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said during Monday’s news conference.

If you qualify under Phase 1b, public health officials recommend first reaching out to your primary care doctor and asking if they’re providing shots.

The governor’s new rules crack down on how quickly vaccine providers administer shots, and how they report that information to the state.

Hospitals, clinics and pharmacies must now dole out 95% of their shots within a week of receiving them and send the Department of Health daily updates. Providers which fail to meet the 95% target could have their unused allotments redistributed by the state to other providers.

Additionally, every vaccine provider has until Sunday to administer any doses they currently possess.

“We need them to hustle up here,” Inslee said. “This will now be a legal requirement.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Health plans to send additional people who can administer vaccines to hospitals, clinics and pharmacies that have struggled to quickly get shots into arms.

The state is also launching mass vaccination clinics in Spokane, Chelan, Benton and Clark counties.

As of Jan. 15, Washington had received 696,175 doses of vaccine and 242,606 had been administered, according to data compiled by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Phase Finder

If you want to know what phase you’re in, find your spot in line with Phase Finder through the state Department of Health. Here’s how it works:

• Go to FindYourPhaseWA.org and fill out the questionnaire.

• If you’re eligible, you will get a confirmation.

• Phase Finder will show you locations where you can get the vaccine.

• Call and schedule your appointment.

• Take your Eligibility Confirmation (printed or a screenshot) with you.

• If you aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet, you’ll be able to sign up to get an email or text alert when you are.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Northwest

King County prosecutor, council member propose hate crimes task force

County leaders say the proposal will give better resouces to prosecute and investigate hate crimes.

Photo courtesy of 4Culture
Local artists wanted to design limited-edition ORCA Cards

Applications due by 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 5.

Photo via Pexels
King County residents needed for first respiratory study using Apple watches

UW study to help find if devices can detect early warning signs of acute respiratory infections, such as COVID-19 and flu.

Photo courtesy of Johnson and Johnson (jnj.com)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine halted in Washington over side effect

Following federal guidance, Washington health care providers are temporarily pausing Johnson &… Continue reading

File Photo
High court ruling spurs effort to retool state’s drug laws

Meanwhile, the Blake decision has gotten people out jail, charges dismissed and possibly clemency for some.

Guns seized during April 7 arrests (photo credit: Dept. of Justice)
More than 20 arrested across the Puget Sound in drug distribution conspiracy

DOJ says law enforcement agencies seized over 70 guns and hundreds of thousands in cash.

T
Sheriff’s office wants help identifying Green River killer victim

Staff reports In 2003, Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded… Continue reading

file photo
King County municipal courts offer limited time warrant amnesty program

The program is intended to mitigate court backlog of warrants during pandemic.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. File photo
King County needs more lawyers to attack backlog of cases

6,107 open cases is double the normal amount for King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County
Starting April 15, everyone 16 and older is eligible for a vaccine

Gov. Inslee said an expected increase in vaccine supply enables the state to open eligibility.

Stock photo
Those who switched to telework have higher income, education and better health

U.S. Census Bureau report breaks down the numbers nationwide

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Phase Finder for vaccine eligibility to be eliminated March 31

Eligibility verification via Phase Finder no longer required for appointments, vaccinations beginning this week.