Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced Monday that Washington will be expanding COVID-19 vaccination qualifications, following a new goal of vaccinating 45,000 Washingtonians per day.
Beginning today, all individuals aged 65 and older will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is a massive effort, and as noble as any cause will be in 2021: Because this is the year we choose to get vaccinated, Washington,” Inslee said during a press conference Monday. “We are removing as many impediments as possible to Washingtonians getting vaccinated, we are going to deliver every dose that comes into our state. We will still be dependent on the federal government for doses, but we are doing everything we can once it gets here.”
- See also:
To meet the state’s vaccination goals and ensure Washingtonians’ access, Inslee announced several changes to both distribution phases and state infrastructure. The changes include the following:
- An update to vaccine distribution phases: the first tier of Phase 1b for vaccine distribution is changing from including those 75 and older to those who are 65 and older.
- Reporting requirements: 95% of vaccine allocations be administered within a week of receipt, and every dose acquired prior to this week must be administered by January 24.
- Infrastructure for increased vaccinations: The DOH will coordinate volunteer vaccinators to support vaccine administration in Spokane, Kennewick, and Bellevue. DOH will also connect with all vaccine administrators across the state to assess where additional assistance is needed to meet the new requirements. The state will also be establishing multiple high-vaccination sites to prepare for future vaccine allocations.
- Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center (WSVCCC): The WSVCCC is a new statewide public-private partnership to boost vaccine distribution efforts which will be staffed by the Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with Washington business and labor leaders. The public-private partnership will support DOH and the secretary in constructing infrastructure and coordinating available resources to deliver vaccines across the state as effectively and efficiently as possible.