After weeks of speculation, the Washington State Department of Health released more information in early January about when the general population can start receiving coronavirus vaccines. The state used federal guidance and feedback from about 20,000 Washingtonians to determine prioritization. Equity guided the decision-making process. “This approach prioritizes population groups that have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 due to external social factors and systemic inequities,” the state reported.
This comes after health care workers, as well as long-term care residents and staff, began getting their shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and NIH-Moderna vaccines in December (here are some basics on vaccination). Below you’ll find these groups and others in Washington’s vaccine line in list form. The list is not comprehensive yet, and remember, the date projections are just that—estimations. The vaccine rollout got off to a rocky start and may lead to delays down the road.
We’ll keep this up-to-date as we learn more; here's where you can find out if you're eligible, as well as where to receive doses.
Tier 1 (started in December 2020):
- High-risk workers in health care settings
- High-risk first responders
- Residents and staff at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance
Tier 2 (started in December 2020)
- All workers in health care settings
Tier 1 (started January 18, 2021)
- Everyone 65 years or older (note: this was originally 70 or older but was changed on January 18, 2021)
- People 50 years or older who live in multigenerational households "where individuals from two or more generations reside such as an elder and a grandchild." Does not include a parent or guardian caring for a child or teen.
- Pre-K through 12th grade school teachers and staff
- Childcare workers
Tier 2 (started March 17)
- Critical workers who work in congregate settings in:
- Food processing
- Grocery stores
- Corrections, prisons, jails, or detention facilities (staff)
- Public transit
- Law enforcement
- People 16 years or older who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at higher risk
Tiers 3 and 4 (started March 31)
- Anyone between the ages of 60 and 64
- Anyone 16 years or older with two or more comorbidities or underlying conditions
- People, staff, and volunteers of all ages in congregate living settings:
- Correctional facilities
- Group homes for people with disabilities
- People experiencing homelessness that live in or access services in congregate settings
- Workers in restaurants, food service, manufacturing, or construction
Anyone 16 years or older is eligible on April 15.