EVERYONE ELIGIBLE FOR COVID VACCINE STARTING APRIL 15:
A statement from Secretary of Health Umair A Shah
Vaccine is the tool we need to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is pleased everyone age 16 and older will be eligible for vaccine starting April 15, which also marks the four-month anniversary of vaccine rollout in Washington.
The state’s phased eligibility approach has helped ensure those most vulnerable were the first to be vaccinated. Thanks to increasing vaccine supply from the federal government and hard work from our providers across the state to get shots in arms, we are able to expand eligibility sooner than anyone initially thought. As we work to get the community vaccinated, individuals still need to wear a face covering, get tested if they feel sick, practice physical distancing, and properly wash their hands. These continued efforts will help us further protect our community and put the pandemic behind us.
You can read this statement in English or in Spanish on the DOH website.
Vaccine Distribution Update
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration efforts.
As of March 29, more than 3,325,998 doses of vaccine have been given across the state, which is 83% of the 4,006,330 doses that have been delivered to our providers and long-term care programs. Washington is currently averaging 55,894 vaccine doses given each day. This information can be found on the DOH data dashboard under the vaccines tab, which is updated three times per week.
On Wednesday, Washington entered Phase 1B tiers 3 and 4 of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine timeline. This advancement opened eligibility to about 2 million people, including people 16 years or older with two or more comorbidities or underlying conditions, people age 60 and older, people, staff and volunteers in certain congregate living settings, and high-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings. For a detailed list of who is eligible, please refer to DOH’s vaccine allocation and prioritization guidance document.
Phase Finder, the state’s online vaccine eligibility tool, is no longer needed to verify vaccine eligibility. Eligibility and vaccine location information can be found on Vaccine Locator. Those who need help can call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.
CASES OF COVID-19 VACCINE BREAKTHROUGH CONFIRMED IN WASHINGTON STATE
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating reports of people in the state who tested positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after being fully vaccinated. Scientists call these “vaccine breakthrough” cases, which are expected with any vaccine.
Large-scale clinical studies found that COVID-19 vaccines reduced the risk of getting COVID-19 in vaccinated people by up to 95% compared to people that did not receive the vaccine. However, the vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infection. This means a small percentage of fully vaccinated people can be expected to still get COVID-19. These are identified as breakthrough cases.
Out of one million fully vaccinated individuals in Washington state, epidemiologists report evidence of 102 breakthrough cases since February 1, 2021, which represents .01 percent of vaccinated people in Washington. Breakthrough cases have been identified in 18 counties. The majority of those in Washington state with confirmed vaccine breakthrough experienced only mild symptoms if any. However, since February 1, eight people with vaccine breakthroughs have been hospitalized. DOH is investigating two potential vaccine breakthrough cases where the patients died. Both patients were more than 80 years old and suffered underlying health issues. Further investigation will help to identify patterns among people who have COVID-19 after vaccination, such as if a virus variant may have caused the infection.