News Flash

Health - Vaccine Updates for Schools

Posted on: January 29, 2021

Vaccine Update for Schools 1.30.21

Vaccines by the Numbers

Providers in Whatcom County received 1,700 first doses this week, bringing Whatcom County’s total allotment of first doses from the state to 13,850. As of Jan. 25, providers in Whatcom County have administered 11,998 COVID-19 vaccines. Data for doses given comes from the Washington Dept. of Health’s Data Dashboard and is based on the location where vaccines were administered, which could include doses given to residents of other counties.


Vaccine Eligibility for Teachers and Educational System Staff:

As you’ve heard, Washington State is currently in Phase 1B Tier 1 of vaccine distribution. This means the vaccine is currently available to: 

  • Anyone 65 and older.
  • Anyone 50 and older who lives in a multigenerational household. 

If you are in Phase 1B Tier 1, keep in mind that your healthcare provider probably isn’t yet offering vaccines to people eligible in Phase 1B due to limited vaccine supply. 

  • Check your healthcare provider’s website for updates about vaccine availability.
  • Pay attention to email or text updates from your provider.
  • Please be patient. Know that your provider is likely getting many calls from people with questions about vaccines.
  • If you are a school employee and you are currently eligible to get vaccinated, please do so. 

Vaccine eligibility for K-12 teachers and school staff who are 50 years or older will open in Phase 1B Tier 2. However, the Governor’s Office recently announced that there will be flexibility in vaccinating those in Phase 1B Tiers 2-4 once we move into the next phase. 

If you would like to learn more about COVID-19 vaccination in our state see the following resources from the Washington State Department of Health:

Kaiser Permanente Partnership with the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

Yesterday, January 29, 2021 Kaiser Permanente and OSPI announced their Get Ready Plan, a partnership that will work to support vaccination of public and private school employees in Washington state. Under this plan Kaiser Permanente has committed their staff and facilities to increase efficiency of vaccination for school employees and provide them with an additional option for accessing COVID-19 vaccination. School employees have the option of accessing vaccination through their healthcare providers, or other routes, but this will provide an additional option throughout the state. 


More details about the Get Ready Plan will be released by OSPI. You can stay informed and updated by checking OSPI’s website or reading this OSPI blog post.   


More Information


You can find more information about vaccine availability and other questions about bringing students back to in-person learning by checking out this Q&A video from Bellingham Schools and our office from January 13.

For more information about the COVID-19 Vaccine in Whatcom County, you can read our most recent newsflash. This includes information about the COVID-19 variant and how to stay safe. 


More information about the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine planning, and vaccine safety can be found on the DOH’s COVID-19 vaccine web page at www.covidvaccinewa.org. For information about the COVID-19 vaccination in Whatcom County, visit our webpage at www.whatcomcounty.us/covidvaccine

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