- Be aware the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved emergency use authorization (EUA) for single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 27.
- Be aware Washington State Department of Health (DOH) added preK-12 educators, school staff and childcare workers to vaccine eligibility Phase 1B Tier 1 and released an expected timeline for moving into future phases.
- Encourage people eligible in Phase 1A or Phase 1B Tier 1 to get vaccinated. Direct them to the list of Whatcom County COVID-19 vaccine providers and events on our COVID-19 vaccine page.
- Be aware the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine storage guidelines to include standard frozen temperatures.
Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
On Feb. 27, 2021, the FDA issued EAU for Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 years and older. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is administered as a single dose. View the fact sheets and other information.
In response to President Biden’s and Governor Inslee’s recent statements, DOH added preK-12 educators, school staff and childcare workers to vaccine eligibility Phase 1B Tier 1. DOH also released an expected timeline for moving into future phases.
Help patients use Phase Finder to learn if they are eligible to get vaccine. Encourage all patients eligible in Phase 1A or Phase 1B Tier 1 to get vaccinated. Direct patients to the Whatcom County COVID-19 vaccine providers and events listed on our COVID-19 vaccine page.
Currently eligible to get COVID-19 vaccine:
- Phase 1A:
- People who work in healthcare settings.
- Medical first responders.
- People who live or work in long-term care facilities.
- Community health worker, caregiver or home care aide.
- Phase 1B Tier 1:
- People 65 years or older.
- People 50 years or older who live in multigenerational homes (e.g., a grandparent living with a grandchild).
- PreK-12 educators, school staff and childcare workers.
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program will primarily coordinate and supply vaccine for preK-12 educators, school staff and childcare workers. However, if these workers show up at your clinic, go ahead and vaccinate them.
Pfizer vaccine storage updates
The FDA updated its Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine storage guidelines. The vaccine may be kept at standard frozen temperatures, including:
- Storing undiluted Pfizer vaccine vials at -25°C to -15°C for up to 2 weeks.
- Transport undiluted Pfizer vaccine vials at -25°C to -15°C.
- Continue to thaw and store Pfizer vaccine in the refrigerator (2°C to 8°C) for up to 5 days.
View the updated fact sheet.
- COVID-19 vaccine for providers
- COVID-19 vaccine and enrollment information for providers—DOH.
- COVID-19 vaccine provider toolkit and resources—DOH.
- COVID-19 vaccination for providers—CDC.
- Clinical considerations for COVID-19 vaccination and guidance for managing anaphylaxis—CDC.
- Vaccination distribution plan and Phase 1a guidance—DOH.
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine information for providers—CDC.
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine information for providers—CDC.
- ACIP’s interim considerations for preparing for management of potential anaphylaxis at COVID-19 vaccination sites—CDC.
- Providers authorized to administer and order vaccines—DOH.
- COVID-19 vaccine training module on best practices for providers—CDC.
COVID-19 test processing
Labs report varying amounts of time to process COVID-19 tests. To support faster turnaround, we encourage providers to use in-state labs. The table below shows COVID-19 test processing times for in-state private labs.
|LAB||TIME TO PROCESS||TESTS PROCESSED DAILY|
|Northwest Pathology||24-48 hours||Unknown|
|UW Virology||24-72 hours||10,000|
|Atlas Genomic||Under 15 hours||1,200|
Share the following materials with patients.
- What to do if you have COVID-19.
- What to do if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms and have not been tested or exposed.