Provider enrollment for COVID-19 vaccine is open. If you plan to give COVID-19 vaccine, enroll through Washington State Department of Health (DOH) now.
Three vaccines are approved for use to prevent COVID-19 disease in the United States:
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
- Johnson & Johnson’s/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
See interim clinical considerations for use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) currently authorized in the US from the CDC for administration, patient counseling, and other details.
Vaccine Administration: Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tier 1
Vaccine administration has started with these vaccines in Washington State. Vaccine supply remains limited. We are following the DOH’s prioritization phases.
Phase 1A and Phase 1B Tier 1 individuals are now eligible for vaccination:
Phase 1A Tier 1:
- High-risk workers in health care settings (clinical judgment should be applied to identify who is at greatest risk, using the Phase 1a guidance)
- High-risk first responders (clinical judgment should be applied to identify who is at greatest risk, using the Phase 1a guidance)
- Residents and staff of 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
Phase 1A Tier 2:
- All workers in health care settings, including contracted, part-time, unpaid/volunteer staff and the spectrum of staff who provide services (e.g., outpatient services, direct patient care, support services, janitorial, etc.).
Phase 1B Tier 1:
- All people 65 years and older.
- People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households.
- As of March 2, 2021, the Washington State Department of Health announced that pre-K through 12th grade educators and staff and childcare workers are immediately eligible for vaccination as part of Phase 1B Tier 1. Childcare workers include:
- Licensed family home childcare providers, and the family members living in their home.
- License-exempt family, friends, and neighbor providers that accept Working Connections Child Care subsidy. These in-home providers can serve up to 6 children.
- ECEAP, Washington’s state-funded preschool providers.
- License-exempt school-age and youth development providers who have been providing care to school-age children since the pandemic began and schools were closed.
What can you do now?
We are working with vaccine administrators in our community to identify ways that they can help vaccinate Phase 1A workers who can’t be vaccinated by their employer. If you are a provider without the ability to vaccinate your staff, email us at Health-COVIDVaccine@co.whatcom.wa.us, and we’ll help you get in touch with an enrolled provider to have your staff vaccinated.
While you await vaccination, you can:
- Consider becoming a vaccine provider. Get details about how to enroll.
- Assess staff roles to prioritize employees with the highest risk for COVID-19 exposure.
- Communicate with your staff to determine who wants to be vaccinated.
- Consider how to rotate your staff who are getting vaccinated in a manner that will not leave you short-staffed if any of them experience any side effects from the vaccine.
- Engage in planning with your employee health provider about access to vaccines for your employees.
- Check this webpage for updates often. We update it regularly with new information as it becomes available.
On January 6, CDC revised interim clinical considerations for use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the United States. The updated guidance states people should not be scheduled to receive second doses earlier than recommended. There is no maximum interval between first and second doses. If the second dose is given after the recommended timeframe, there is no need to restart the series.
Patients should not pay out-of-pocket costs to get COVID-19 vaccine. Enrolled providers must give the vaccine regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Providers may bill a patient’s health plan or program. Providers may not bill the patient for the balance. For details, see CDC’s information on filing claims for reimbursement.
Prioritization Guidance from the Washington State Department of Health
It is the goal of the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to enable everyone in the state to get vaccinated against COVID-19. To decide which groups get the vaccine first, DOH has considered a number of different inputs, such as scientific evidence, local data, federal guidance, conversations with Washington expert advisory groups, and community feedback.
You can review the current eligibility guidance at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/SummaryInterimVaccineAllocationPriortization.pdf DOH will announce when we move into future phases.
DOH has also launched an online tool, PhaseFinder, that enables someone to know what phase they’re in and find locations of enrolled vaccine providers.
Helpful Resources for Offices Administering Vaccine
· Pre-vaccination checklist for COVID-19 vaccines:
. V-Safe Infographic:
Additional Information for Providers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) COVID-19 Vaccine Training Module offers a general overview of immunization best practices for healthcare providers.
The DOH COVID-19 vaccine provider toolkit has many helpful resources.