Teachers prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine
Educators and childcare workers are cleared to schedule appointments
Last updated 3/3/2021 at 1:48pm
Educators and child-care workers are cleared to schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccines, as Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement following President Joe Biden's directive this week that all states must prioritize vaccinations of teachers and child-care workers.
The change adds educators and licensed child-care workers to Washington's Phase 1B-1. Vaccination in Washington state is currently at Phase 1B-1, which the DOH describes as anyone 65 and older, and all people 50 and older who also live in a multigenerational household.
Still eligible are people in the previous phase, and vaccination efforts are moving forward with that process.
Previous eligibility during phase 1A included health-care workers at high risk for COVID-19 infection, first responders, people who live or work in long-term care facilities, and all other workers in health settings who are at risk of COVID-19, the Department of Health said.
The DOH said it will release specific information soon on how those groups can access vaccines.
Inslee stated that the directive will be carried out through existing providers and the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which operates through national pharmacies and independent pharmacy chains.
"The good news is that schools will be able to open and we are pleased that teachers will be back in the classroom very soon,” Inslee said.
“This should give educators more confidence to return to in-person learning and that it can be done with the safety protocols that are being used by 1,400 other schools in our state right now."
He said an announcement will come soon on when state vaccine prioritization opens to more groups, including critical workers in certain congregate settings including those who work in grocery, farming and food processing work, bus driving, corrections workers and other essential functions.