Age 65-and-up are able to get COVID-19 vaccine
Jim Scolman photo
People waited in a long line on Friday, Jan. 15 to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at the pop-up site at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds. The site is staffed by firefighters. A firefighter there said they are using the Moderna vaccine and as of Friday had administered over 600 doses in the two days since the site was set up on Wednesday, Jan. 13. After the shot, people are parked in a waiting area for 15 minutes in case of an adverse reaction. An appointment is required, and you must be eligible for the vaccine. The site opens for waiting at 8:45 a.m.
All people age 65+ are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine
- All members of the public age 65+ are immediately eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday, Jan. 18. Additionally, people who are 50 years of a ge and older who live in multi-generational households are eligible. The 65+ cutoff is lower than the initially suggest 70+ age cutoff for the next phase of vaccinations. Mass vaccination clinics are being established.
Before rushing out, get a certificate
receive a vaccine from the state's website, FindYourPhaseWA.org
SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Next in line for COVID-19 vaccines are all people age 65 and older and all people 50 and older who live in the same house as people from other generations, state health officials outlined last week. The state has lowered the threshold age from 70 to 65 as of Jan. 18, 2021.
People 50 and older sharing a house with a most likely younger family member, who is more likely to be out in public, are ranked so highly for vaccinations because of the associated exposure risks to elders in these living situations, a state draft vaccination plan explains.
State health authorities estimate this upcoming phase, or tier, of eligible people represents more than 1.2 million Washingtonians.
As of Jan. 13, the only people being vaccinated were front-line health care workers and first responders who interact with high-risk patients, as well as residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. As of Jan. 13, these groups represent more than 40,000 people in Snohomish County alone, said the county’s health officer, Dr. Chris Spitters with the Snohomish Health District.
Spitters said Jan. 19 that there are approximately 120,000 county residentsthe next phase -- people 65 and older, plus people 50 and older in certain circumstantial multi-generational households who are being cared for at home by others in other generations.
A new tool launching soon can help tell when you’re eligible to get a vaccine. It’s called “PhaseFinder,” at www.FindYourPhaseWA.org. The website asks a few simple questions to determine eligibility. Those who aren’t eligible yet can ask to be notified when they are eligible through a text message or an email. When you become eligible, the website produces a certificate that you are asked to print or save as a screenshot to your smartphone to present to a doctor’s office or a pharmacy that stocks vaccines. What people tell the website is based on the honor system, state officials noted in a December meeting.
When the state says it is their turn, people without Internet access can get help with using the certificate website by calling their regular doctor’s office or local clinic, or the county hot line: 425-339-5278.
Don’t ask for a vaccine until you are eligible, health officials emphasize.
Vaccines to become available to more people in coming months
Eligibility will broaden out as soon as this spring after this newest phase, known as Phase 1B, are mostly vaccinated.
The third group who will become eligible, known as Phase 1C, are people 50 and older who are essential workers who work in public settings, such as: Classroom teachers, transit drivers, grocery store employees, jail and prison staff, and general fire and law enforcement. A state outline pegs March as the early estimate for when this phase of people will become eligible.
It will be many months before the public-at-large may be vaccinated.
The age cutoff sparked a debate about maintaining
equitability for who gets doses. The state crafted its “Phase 1B” to cover a wide range of ethnic groups, DOH Assistant Secretary Michele Roberts, the state official leading vaccination planning and distribution, said during a press conference Jan. 6.
As of Jan. 13, the state has received 522,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. More than 125,000 doses have been administered. Of these, as of Jan. 13, 11,000 have been administered in Snohomish County.
Both vaccines require two shots. Pfizer shots are given over three weeks; Moderna shots are given over four.
Stat, a news website reporting on public health, noted that scientists are monitoring how effective the vaccines will be against COVID-19 variants which behave in differing ways. One of them is the more contagious COVID-19 variant that swept through Britain last month.
Don’t fall for vaccine scams
The Snohomish Health District notes you can’t buy a way to jump the line for a vaccine.
“There are no pre-payments required to ‘get in line’ for vaccination, you cannot pay for early access, vaccines are not available for purchase online, and vaccines must be administered by licensed medical professionals,” it warned.
Photo courtesy Providence
Frontline health care workers were the initial priority for vaccines. Providence Everett hospital was initially supplied with 3,900 doses of the new Pfizer vaccine. Above, nurse Elizabeth Njie gets the vaccine.
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