Statement from the Washington State Department of Health

For immediate release: December 31, 2020   (20-265)Spanish

Contact: Danielle Koenig, Center for Public Affairs
Public inquiries: State COVID-19 Assistance Hotline, 1-800-525-0127 then press #

Statement from the Washington State Department of Health

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) updated Washington’s 1A vaccine allocation guidance yesterday. We have worked closely with Gov. Inslee and his team and Dr. Umair A. Shah, the Secretary of Health, to review and update COVID-19 vaccine related matters in Washington.

“It is our goal to move vaccine as quickly and efficiently as possible within our state and among our COVID-19 vaccine providers, following the prioritization framework for our state, which is informed by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine frameworks and stakeholder engagement within our state over the past few months,” said Dr. Shah.

Some communities in Washington state have already completed or are very near to completing vaccination of their high-risk workers in health care settings as outlined in current DOH guidance. We will be adding a second tier to 1A that allows for the vaccination of all other workers in health care settings once high-risk workers are vaccinated.

We acknowledge that while some communities are still working through 1A, others will be able to move to this second tier of 1A more quickly. Across Washington, it is important that health care systems actively reach out to and provide access to COVID-19 vaccination for the community-based health care workforce outside their systems and in their community. This includes other health care providers, school nurses, and behavioral health providers, in order to complete this phase and ensure we have a protected healthcare system. 

We are still working to finalize prioritization for 1B/1C and expect to release this guidance shortly after the new year, so that communities can begin planning outreach and vaccination of these groups next.

We appreciate the ongoing partnership with local public health and the healthcare system in supporting this critical aspect of our response and recovery from the pandemic.


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