There have been many questions about when teachers and school staff can get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Because the COVID-19 vaccines are in limited supply, the state Department of Health (DOH) is using a phased approach to vaccine allocation. We are currently in Phase 1a. On January 6, DOH released guidance for a new phase, Phase 1b Tiers 1-4.
Here’s where teachers and school staff fit in the Washington State vaccine phases:
School nurses are in Phase 1a (in progress).
High-risk teachers and other school staff aged 50 years or older are included in Phase 1b Tier 2 (estimated to begin around February). DOH guidance states that high-risk people include “K-12 educators and staff 50 years and older who are working at the school (i.e., not remote workers).”
High-risk teachers and staff under 50 years are able to be vaccinated in Phase 1b Tier 4 (estimated to begin around April).
The exact timing of the phases depends on a number of factors, including how much vaccine the state receives each week from the federal government and how quickly each region of the state is able to administer vaccines. It’s possible that some regions of Washington will complete vaccinating their Phase 1a groups and receive permission to move onto Phase 1b groups before other regions.
Vaccine shipments began the week of December 14 and are being delivered directly to enrolled vaccine providers weekly. At least 40 vaccine providers in our community have completed enrollment or are in the process of being approved by DOH. This is good news for access to the vaccine in our community.
When we have additional information about future phases or protocols, we will be sure to share it. Watch our COVID-19 vaccine page for more information as it becomes available. You can also sign up for email updates. Select Health - Vaccine Updates for Schools to subscribe to email updates with the latest local information about the COVID-19 vaccine.