Gov. Jay Inslee directed the Washington Department of Health to move the state into Phase 1B, Tier 1, of its COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan Jan. 18, allowing everyone over the age of 65 and anyone 50 or older living in multigenerational homes (excluding parents and their children) to receive the vaccine.
That means about 1 million more Washington residents are now eligible for the vaccine.
The state goal is to vaccinate 45,000 people a day. As of Jan. 18, the average was 15,500, for a total of 335,836 out of 608,325 doses on hand since mid-December.
DOH anticipates moving to Tiers 2, 3 and 4 in late winter or early spring, when more vaccine becomes available and at least 50% of those eligible have received it. Succeeding phases will extend eligibility to people with certain underlying medical conditions and school employees. Vaccines in Phase 1A went to people at the highest risk of coronavirus transmission and illness, including health care workers, first responders and older adults living in group settings.
The Pierce County Council approved $4 million Jan. 19 to a create three vaccination sites, several mobile locations and delivery drop teams to expedite distribution by the beginning of February.
“Getting vaccines into arms as efficiently as possible is our top priority,” said Council Chair Derek Young, D-Gig Harbor, in a prepared statement. “Creating this plan now and providing easy to access locations for people to get vaccinated across the county will reduce life-altering injuries and ultimately save lives.”
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