In addition to announcing that visitations at long-term care facilities and nursing homes may resume in Washington, Governor Jay Inslee had good news for essential workers.
On March 31, the next two tiers of the vaccine rollout will begin. This means that five million Washingtonians will become eligible for the vaccine by the end of the month.
“Because our doses are increasing and our daily vaccination rates remain around our goal, we are thrilled to announce that we can get this vaccine to more Washingtonians sooner than we initially thought,” Inslee said in a press conference Thursday. “I encourage everyone, especially those who were among the first eligible but haven’t gotten a dose, to take advantage of this life-saving instrument.”
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The expansion of the next two vaccination tiers will allow anyone with two or more comorbidities, those between the ages of 60 and 64, anyone living in congregate settings, and additional workers in congregate settings to receive the vaccine.
Congregate settings include correctional facilities, group homes, restaurants, construction sites, and more.
“As we advance through the next tiers of vaccine eligibility, we want to again encourage the people of Washington to continue to be patient,” said Michele Roberts, one of the Department of Health leaders for the state’s vaccine rollout, in a press conference.
The department urges Washingtonians who are eligible to sign up for their vaccine to do so before the vaccine is open to all on May 1.