News Flash

Health - Vaccine Updates for Businesses

Posted on: January 8, 2021

Vaccine Update for Businesses 1.8.2021

Right now, we are in Phase 1a of the state’s vaccine allocation plan, with a focus on the highest risk individuals such as frontline healthcare workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. There is currently a limited supply of vaccine, which is why those highest-risk groups are receiving the vaccine first. 


On January 6, WA DOH released guidance for Phase 1b Tiers 1-4. DOH will determine and announce when we will be moving into the next vaccination phases. Currently, they anticipate that Phase 1b will start in mid- to late January (this may be subject to change).


Here’s where you and your employes may fit in Washington’s vaccine phases:


Phase 1b Tier 2 includes high-risk critical workers 50 years or older who work in certain congregate settings. These settings include:


  • Agriculture

  • Food processing

  • Grocery stores

  • K-12 (teachers and school staff)

  • Childcare

  • Corrections, prisons, jails or detention centers

  • Public transit

  • Fire and law enforcement


Phase 1b Tier 4 includes all other critical workers under 50 years who work in the above settings. 


People, staff, and volunteers in congregate living settings can also be vaccinated during this tier of Phase 1b. Congregate living settings include:


  • Correctional facilities,

  • Group homes for people with disabilities, and

  • People experiencing homelessness who live in or access services in congregate settings.


We will move to each new phase at the direction of DOH, according to the estimated timeline they have provided. They estimate that Phase 1b Tier 2 will begin around February and that Phase 1b Tier 4 will begin around April.


If you don’t see yourself or your staff in the above Phase 1 tiers, take a look at the Vaccine Phases Infographic or the Washington State Department of Health vaccine guidance to learn more about when you may be eligible.


Vaccine shipments began the week of December 14 and have been arriving in our state on a weekly basis to be distributed statewide. Many healthcare providers and pharmacies in Whatcom County have enrolled as vaccine providers, and this is good news for access to the vaccine in our community.


When we have additional information about future phases or protocols, we will be sure to share it. Watch our COVID-19 Vaccine website for more information as it becomes available. You can also sign up for email updates. Select Health - Vaccine Updates for Businesses to subscribe to email updates with the latest local information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

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