Who’s next for COVID-19 vaccinations

Who’s next for COVID-19 vaccinations

Vials of vaccine await the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations in Washington.

Updated Jan. 13:

Here is information from the state Department of Health and other sources on the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination in Washington.

  • The federal government on Jan. 12 Tuesday issued new guidelines that expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone age 65 and older, as well as to those with medical conditions such as diabetes. Starting in two weeks, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal allocation of vaccines to states will be based on the percentage of doses each state has administered and the number of residents who are at least 65. The goal is to increase the availability vaccines and the rate at which they’re given, HHS officials said.
  • Essential healthcare personnel and residents and employees of long-term care facilities were among the first groups of Washingtonians who received the vaccine. The next groups, in Phase 1B in a phased vaccination include all people 70 years and older and anyone 50 and up who lives in multi-generational households (tier 1); high-risk critical workers 50 and older who work in agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, K-12 school teachers and other school staff members, childcare, corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities, public transit, fire protection and law enforcement (tier 2); anyone 16 or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions (tier 3): h-igh-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings under 50 years old, all ages living, working or volunteering in congregate living settings, orrectional facilities, group homes for people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness that live in or access services in congregate settings (tier 4).
  • Additional details will be posted at doh.wa.gov.
  • The state isn’t scheduled to enter Phase 1B for the next few weeks. At that point, communities will be notified by health authorities of how and where to get vaccine.

The Department of Health worked with the governor’s office to finalize prioritization for phase 1B. In addition, nearly 20,000 people across the state were consulted through focus groups, interviews, and surveys over the past few months..

“Vaccine prioritization decisions are complex, but based in a need for equitable distribution,” said state Secretary of Health Umair Shah. “Our priority has been to get the vaccine to high-priority people first.”

Two vaccines are available. Each requires two doses.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for emergency use in persons 16 years and older; it’s doeses are given 21 days apart. Clinical trial data show the vaccine is 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 infection starting seven days after the second dose. Individuals will not be considered fully protected until one to two weeks after they receive the second dose. The clinical trials revealed no major unanticipated adverse events.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for emergency use in individuals 18 and older, in two doses 28 days apart. Clinical trial data shows the vaccine is about 94 percent effective after two doses, and no serious safety concerns were found.