Washington State Opens COVID-19 Vaccination for Phase 1 Tier B1
Media Contact: Kelli Hawkins | firstname.lastname@example.org | (509) 324-1539, c (509) 994-8968
Spokane, Wash. – Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced today COVID-19 vaccination of Phase 1 Tier B1, individuals age 65 and over and those over 50 who live in a multigenerational household, could begin to do so. Health officials in Spokane County support expanding eligibility to Tier B1 while continuing to ensure Tiers A1 and A2 which include health care employees, first responders and staff and residents of long-term care facilities have prioritized access.
Dr. Francisco Velazquez, Spokane County Interim Health Officer with Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD), explained that providers enrolled to administer COVID-19 vaccines continue to see a high demand from individuals who are eligible in Tiers A1 and A2 and who want the vaccine.
“As with other counties that have higher populations, Spokane is still working diligently to ensure that those members of our community at the highest risk of exposure are receiving the vaccine first,” said Velazquez. “We are committed to being good stewards of our limited quantity of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
As just one of many providers administering the vaccine through the DOH-led vaccination program, SRHD has received 3,400 COVID-19 vaccines and will receive an additional 1,900 vaccines this week. 90% of our vaccines have been administered. Vaccine doses are not being held back, and were administered as SRHD received them through the drive-through clinic at the Spokane Fire Training Center (which ended on Jan. 14, 2021) and continue to be administered through liaisons who are able to vaccinate within their facilities such as corrections, congregate care sites, shelters, schools, and others.
The SRHD COVID-19 Vaccination Team works daily to collaborate with other community agencies and partners to define what mass-vaccination efforts will look like in our community as they prepare for a steady supply of vaccine.
In addition, Governor Jay Inslee announced state-managed mass vaccination clinics at four sites throughout Washington including in Spokane County. Details regarding the clinic’s dates and accessibility have not been disclosed yet.
“We are pleased to hear that there is support planned from the state level that will compliment Spokane County’s vaccination efforts through the systems already in place,” said Kayla Myers, leading SRHD’s COVID-19 vaccination task force. “Mass vaccination planning is already under way through a collaborative work group of health care providers and the health district; the state’s efforts will accelerate our ability to get more people vaccinated faster.”
Those who are eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to use DOH’s Phase Finder at www.findyourphasewa.org to confirm eligibility and to be directed to vaccine providers in Spokane County.
Health care providers are asked to enroll in vaccine administration by completing the COVID-19 Provider Inquiry Form on the DOH COVID-19 Vaccination Program Enrollment webpage (under COVID-19 Vaccination Program Enrollment).