A vaccination against COVID-19 is likely a high priority for most of us personally, especially for our loved ones at risk of higher impact from the infection. The State Department of Health (DOH) has developed a plan for phasing eligibility for the vaccination, and this eligibility design has changed a couple of times, as more information becomes available. At the same time, supply of the vaccine is limited, and difficult to obtain. This article is intended to share information for those interested in obtaining a vaccine.
The latest eligibility guidelines updated on January 18, 2021 can be found at the DOH Vaccine Allocation Prioritization webpage K-12 employees over age 50 are eligible for a vaccine in phase 1B-Tier 2; K-12 employees under age 50 are eligible for a vaccine in phase 1B-Tier 4. As of January 18 and this writing, phase 1A-Tier 1 individuals are eligible to receive a vaccination.
- Employees who are also likely eligible under Phase 1A-1, should seek a vaccine based on that eligibility criteria rather than waiting for Phase 1B-2. Visit DOH Phase Finder to establish your eligibility. This website and eligibility tool helps you connect with a provider.
- You can also visit https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Immunization/VaccineLocations to search for vaccine locations.
The following phases relate to educational employees:
DOH Phase 1A-1 Guidance (Eligible Now)
- All people 65 years and older (about half of whom have comorbidities that increase risk for severe outcomes if infected with COVID)
- People 50 years and older in a multigenerational (2 or more generations) household. These individuals would be at risk either due to:
- Vulnerability – specifically, an older adult or elder who cannot live independently and is being cared for by a relative or in-home caregiver or being cared for by someone who works outside the home;
- Risk of exposure – specifically, an older adult or elder who is living with and taking care of kinship (along the lines of a grandparent with a grandchild).
- This group does not include an older adult who is able to live independently and is taking care of the individual’s kinship/children.
DOH Phase 1B-2 Guidance
- K-12 educators and staff 50 years and older who are working at the school (i.e., not remote workers)
- This category should consider the full spectrum of workers including administrators, environmental services staff, maintenance workers, school bus drivers, paraeducators, and all of who are essential to child care and education.
- This group should not include those who are working remotely or in a role where they can practice being socially distant.
DOH Phase 1B-4 Guidance
- Critical workers under age 50 with significantly high risk of exposure and transmission in congregate settings. See Phase 1b – Tier 2 for description of congregate settings to be considered.
Kaiser Permanente Health Plan Enrollees
As of Tuesday, January 19 our employer representative let us know that Kaiser had expanded its vaccine eligibility to Phase 1B-1 (slightly further along than the DOH website indicates).
Kaiser Permanente Enrollees can follow the following instructions to obtain a vaccination appointment:
- If you believe you meet the criteria for the current phase (1B-1), go to kp.org/wa/onlinevisit and complete an e-visit. The e-visit option is available to you by signing into your own account or by visiting wa.kaiserpermanente.org and looking for the link pictured below.
- If the e-visit determines that you meet the criteria for the current phase, you will be directed to a website where you will be able to make an appointment to receive the first vaccine dose and an appointment for the second dose (2 doses are needed) that must be given a few weeks later.
- COVID-19 vaccinations will be given at select Kaiser Permanente sites by appointment only. You will need to return to the same site for the second dose of the vaccine. If you believe you are in the current phase group and don’t have computer access, call 1‑800‑352‑3610 for assistance.
Kaiser hopes to be able to fully open this process up to non-members ASAP. As our Kaiser employer representative shares information, we will share this with you also.
District Sponsored Vaccine Clinic
The district is actively advocating for and planning for the ability to host a mass vaccination effort. As supply of vaccines to our Thurston County Public Health Department, private providers, and Kaiser increases, know that we are advocating for these providers to use our property/facility and logistical support to bring a vaccination clinic directly to you.