Phase 1B

Last updated: Monday, February 22, 2021 at 10:35 a.m.

The Washington State’s Vaccine Allocation Plan has determined the following groups to be in Phase 1B, which is divided into four Tiers.

Whatcom County is currently in Phase 1B of COVID-19 Vaccine distribution. Anyone in Phase 1A or Phase 1B Tier 1 can be vaccinated right now. 

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You can find a brief summary of vaccine safety, where and how to get vaccinated, and resources for older adults in Whatcom County here.

What is Phase 1B?

Phase 1B is now underway. Phase 1B is broken up into four Tiers:

Phase 1B Tier 1 - Now underway

This Tier focuses on protecting those who are at high risk of severe illness and hospitalization. This Tier includes:

  • All people 65 years and older.
  • People 50 years and older who live in multi-generational households.

Phase 1B Tiers 2 through 4 - Estimated to occur during Spring and Summer 2021

Phase 1B Tier 2 focuses on high-risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in congregate settings. These settings include:

  • Agriculture, food processing, grocery stores, K-12 (teachers and school staff), child care, corrections, prisons, jails, or detention facilities, public transit, fire, and law enforcement.

Tier 3 includes people who have certain medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe illness if infected with COVID-19. This Tier includes:

Tier 4 includes two other high-risk groups, including:

  • High-risk critical workers in congregate settings under 50 years old.
  • People, staff, and volunteers of all ages in congregate living settings, such as correctional facilities, group homes for people with disabilities, and shelters for people experiencing homelessness.

You can find a visual timeline for the Phases and more detailed information about the DOH vaccine allocation guidance.

Phase 1B FAQs

I'm in Phase 1B Tier 1, where can I get vaccinated?

If you are in Phase 1B Tier 1, a visit to your healthcare provider is the best way to get vaccinated right now. Keep in mind that your healthcare provider my not be scheduling appointments for people eligible in Phase 1B due to limited vaccine supply. 

  • Check your healthcare provider’s website for updates about vaccine availability.
  • Watch for mail, email, text or patient portal updates from your provider.
  • You can call the Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127 or 888-856-5816 for assistance. 
    • Call takers can help you use PhaseFinder to determine your eligibility, and they can tell you which locations near you offer the COVID-19 vaccine. 
      • COVID-19 vaccine appointments cannot be scheduled through this phone line.  
      • This line also has a Spanish option.
  • Please be patient. Know that your provider is likely getting many calls from people with questions about vaccines.

You can also use this Vaccine Locations List to see which providers in Whatcom County are enrolled to receive vaccine doses and are vaccinating people. You should know that because vaccine supply is very limited in our county, the providers listed may not have vaccine or may be fully booked. We expect that, as supply increases, more vaccination locations will become available. We will update this page as more information becomes available.

What can I expect when I get vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine is administered in your upper arm. The vaccines currently available require two doses spaced 3-4 weeks apart. 

 Like some routine vaccines, the most common side effects are a sore arm, tiredness, headache, and muscle pain. These symptoms are a sign that the vaccine is prompting an immune response. Data from clinical trials showed the following:

  • Ninety percent of people reported pain at the injection site.
  • Seventy percent of people reported tiredness and headache.
  • Sixty percent of people reported muscle pain.

For most people, these side effects occurred within two days of getting the vaccine and lasted about a day. Side effects were more common after the second dose than the first dose.

What should I do after I get vaccinated?

After getting your first dose, keep wearing your mask, staying socially distanced, and washing your hands frequently. Schedule your second dose with your healthcare provider. After your second dose, you should still continue to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands frequently until medical experts determine that the threat of COVID-19 is behind us.

Where can I get more information?

We’ll continue to update this page. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine planning, development and safety standards from DOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You can also sign up for email updates. Select Health - Public Health News, Health - Vaccine Updates for Businesses, or Health - Vaccine Updates for Schools to subscribe to email updates with the latest local information about the COVID-19 vaccine.