CORONAVIRUS: Here’s who gets vaccinated next – state announces upcoming phases

As promised, state health officials went public today with information about who’s eligible for the next phases of COVID-19 vaccination. In case you missed the noon briefing, here’s the announcement:

Today the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released guidance for the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination. The department worked closely with the Governor’s Office to finalize prioritization for phase 1B, and we are pleased to be able to share eligible groups for this next phase of vaccination. This phase is broken up into four separate tiers.

In addition to partnership with Gov. Inslee and reliance on federal guidance, nearly 20,000 people across the state weighed in on the prioritization through focus groups, interviews, and surveys over the past few months. This feedback directly informed our recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization and allocation, and continues to help us make sure our vaccine plans are equitable and protect those most at risk from COVID-19 infections.

“Vaccine prioritization decisions are complex, but based in a need for equitable distribution,” says Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah. “Our priority has been to get the vaccine to high-priority people first.”

(The graphic above) shows the groups and the timeline for phase 1B. Broadly, groups eligible for vaccination in phase 1B include:

Phase 1B1 – (Tier 1)

All people 70 years and older
People 50 years and older who live in multigenerational households

Phase 1B2 – (Tier 2)

High risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate settings: Agriculture; food processing; grocery stores; K-12 (teachers and school staff); childcare; corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement

Phase 1B3 – (Tier 3)

People 16 years or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions

Phase 1B4 – (Tier 4)

High-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings under 50 years
People, staff and volunteers all ages in congregate living settings:
Correctional facilities; group homes for people with disabilities; people experiencing homelessness that live in or access services in congregate settings

Additional details of phase 1B will be posted on our website.

It’s important to note that we are not moving into phase 1B right now. Our state is still in phase 1A (PDF) of vaccinations, and will continue to be for the next few weeks. Many pharmacies, clinics and hospitals are vaccinating people in 1A1 (tier 1), and others have moved to 1A2 (tier 2). While phase 1A is still the priority, we hope that the release of phase 1B guidance will help facilities, counties and individuals plan for the months ahead. Once we’re ready to start phase 1B, we will let our communities know how and where to get vaccine.

That was stressed repeatedly during today’s briefing – if you’re in the newly announced phase, DON’T call your provider yet, because there’s no start date yet.

42 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: Here's who gets vaccinated next - state announces upcoming phases"

  • anonyme January 6, 2021 (3:02 pm)

    I’ll be 70 late this year.  Unless I just have to wait for my birthday, I don’t see ANY eligibility window for me in the above chart.  What happens to seniors who are not yet 70 and live alone?

    • Diane January 6, 2021 (8:02 pm)

      exactly; I’ve been crying all day since reading this; 90% of covid deaths in WA state are people 60+; I’ll be 70 next year and have co-morbidity, but not even listed on any phase of this chart; craziest damn thing I’ve ever seen 

      • Mark Noonan January 20, 2021 (6:38 pm)

        We were in Phase B tier 1 in December 2020. But now we are in phase B tier 3 and I, for one would line an explanation.  Oh you are eligible in Phase B1.  As of Jan 19. 

    • 1994 January 6, 2021 (8:36 pm)

      On the honor system questionnaire we are supposed to be getting soon from the WA Dept of Health,  just say you are 70 already. We won’t tell.  And lets all hope we don’t have to stand in a line  8 or 9 blocks long outside the Walgreens, or Rite-Aid! Sheesh! Can’t they utilize large unused facilities like high school or middle school gyms, community centers or community colleges, the T-Mobile field….???? The planning should have started in July for this major roll out.

    • Chemist January 6, 2021 (11:19 pm)

      Do you have “two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions” ?  If not, it sounds like you’re going to be in with the rest of us in phases 2, 3, or 4.  I hope more consideration is given for the delayed 2nd dose/single dose protection being prioritized for later phases of folks who generally recover.  Some of what I’m reading about lasting lung damage even in healthy folks makes me a bit uneasy about another 6+ months of having no immunization.

      • Mark Noonan January 20, 2021 (6:40 pm)

        The CDC recommendation was that people with Two or more Comorbidities and 65 and over be vaccinated next. But Inslee ignored the Comorbidities and only moved 65 and older to Tier 1 we are stuck in Tier 3. If your healthy and have no underlying conditions. I’m sorry but you’ll have to wait until Vaccine Supply outpaces demand.

  • CarDriver January 6, 2021 (4:46 pm)

    Anonyme. I read it as 1B1, but don’t be surprised, based on vaccine availability and # of people willing to take These “guidelines” will change, oh 50 times before any of us actually get a needle in the arm.  

  • sgs January 6, 2021 (4:52 pm)

    Is a household with parents (over 50) and children considered “multi-generational?”

    • EST January 6, 2021 (5:32 pm)

      Good question. I assume they define multigenerational household the same as the Census Bureau: households that consist of “three or more generations of parents and their families.”

      • Alex January 11, 2021 (9:21 pm)

        On the department of health, they say two or more generations. The specific example they used was grandparent and grandchild though. My mom is a baby boomer and I am gen z so I am hoping that’ll let her get the shot, but I am confused by their definition honestly.

    • Mark Noonan January 20, 2021 (6:42 pm)


  • R January 6, 2021 (5:22 pm)

    I fricken knew it. Restaurants and food SERVICE workers were considered “essential” enough to be forced to work through this mess in-person since the beginning, but when it comes to the vaccine, are not at all essential.

    • Yup January 6, 2021 (9:40 pm)

      I too am considered essential but not on that list anywhere. Been interacting in person with general public this whole time and taking public transit to and from my job.

      • Mark Noonan January 20, 2021 (6:44 pm)

        If they vaccinated all essential workers the number would be in tens of millions.  It’s already bad enough that frontline workers fifty and older get the vaccine in B2 while me 50 with Underlying health issues is stuck in B3. 

  • Yummy January 6, 2021 (5:29 pm)

    This seems to be confusing and not straight forward for people to understand to be honest with you. They need to omit the “or” and instead just list who can get the shot and when  Like everything thing in life it will constantly change. It sort of reminds me of something a school district sends out to employees, confusing and not written easily readable to a person who is trying to figure out what it means.

    • pilsner January 6, 2021 (9:36 pm)

      I was thinking more like the IRS tax codes.

  • Justind January 6, 2021 (7:43 pm)

    Schools are supposed to start in person for kindergarten, first grade, and special Ed. on March 1st, but teachers aren’t getting vaccinated until April. I doubt teachers will go for it. 

    • Diane January 6, 2021 (8:08 pm)

      agree, that’s ridiculous; if teachers are forced back to in-person classrooms, every teacher should have access to vaccine; especially in child care, prek, kindergarten, where it’s just about impossible for children to social-distance and/or keep facemasks on 

    • Ws res January 6, 2021 (9:00 pm)

      Yep, the fact that teachers under 50 are low on the priority list means that school won’t be opening up this year at all.  This is ridiculous.  Kids needs to be back in school as soon as possible.

      • Mark Noonan January 20, 2021 (6:47 pm)

        I teach. And I disagree.  Not everyone can be vaccinated.  Who will have to wait in order to vaccinate healthy teachers.  I’m 50 with 2 underlying health issues. Last December we were in Phase B tier 1. But then they added Frontline workers 50 and over which includes teachers.  And we paid the price. They moved us to Tier 3.  I would have been vaccinated by now. But now I have to wait till March. 

  • Teacher January 6, 2021 (8:11 pm)

    April for teachers under 50? This is insanity. 

    • Lisa January 7, 2021 (4:28 pm)

      I’m a Paraeducator under 50—insanity indeed. 

  • lowmanbeachdrive January 6, 2021 (8:37 pm)

    Thank you, WSB, for the information!  As always.  How lucky we are to have such a quality news source in our very own neighborhood.

  • Mj January 6, 2021 (9:58 pm)

    Per the CDC that for every confirmed Covid case there may be 6 times or more cases.  Thus with 20,000,000 confirmed cases in the US there actually could have been 120,000,000.  A lot of people have had it without knowing it.  These people have developed antibodies.  This coupled with the vaccine should result in the virus demise sooner than people think.  The Spanish Flu epidemic disappeared after a year, likely due to people developing resistance.  With Covid this is happening AND there is now a vaccine a proverbial one two punch!

  • anonyme January 7, 2021 (5:56 am)

    According to this chart rapists, murderers, street addicts and 16 year-olds with underlying conditions will get the vaccine before vulnerable seniors under 70, unless they are in congregate living situations. This is anything but equitable. I contacted DOH and they essentially responded with “stay tuned”. Absolute bollocks.

    • Mark Noonan January 20, 2021 (6:49 pm)

      Read that again.  16 -64 won’t be vaccinated till March. Which angers me more than anything else. Considering people with Comorbidities were in Phase B tier one in December. 

  • JenT January 7, 2021 (2:20 pm)

    As of a week ago, friends and family in Texas were already signing up for the vaccine waitlist at their local grocery stores, in Austin and in Houston.

    Washington, by comparison, seems WAY behind the curve.

    I’ve barely seen any info until this about our vaccine rollout, and this looks dismal. How on earth is a state that has such a comparatively effective public health department falling behind states that have mishandled every other aspect of this pandemic?

    • AMD January 8, 2021 (7:57 pm)

      There are some states that have wait lists (New Mexico was mentioned in the comments recently, too), but it’s just a list.  It doesn’t tell you when you’re going to get the vaccine and most states have a priority order that these voluntary lists do not supplant.  I personally know three people who have had their first dose of vaccine (all work in health care) so it is happening.  Just not for a while for many of us.

  • Sure January 7, 2021 (3:09 pm)

    My wife is a nurse in phase A1/A2 and was suppose to get her first dose on Monday 1/4/2021.  As of today 1/7/2021, no first dose and unknown when the vaccine will be available.

  • MARIANNE January 7, 2021 (6:50 pm)

    I am a bit confused.  I teach and am over 50.  What is meant by “high risk?”  Am I considered high risk because I work with students or do I have to have other health issues which make me high risk in order to be in this phase/tier?Phase 1B2 – (Tier 2)High risk critical workers 50 years and older who work in certain congregate settings: Agriculture; food processing; grocery stores; K-12 (teachers and school staff); childcare; corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement

    • Mark Noonan January 20, 2021 (6:50 pm)

      If you are 50 or older with Comorbidities meaning underlying health issues. 

  • Pessoa January 7, 2021 (9:15 pm)

    This thread is similar to the Twilight Zone episode, “Monsters are due on Maple Street.”   If you’ve seen the episode, you’ll know what I mean; if not, I highly recommend watching it. 

  • anonyme January 8, 2021 (6:38 am)

    I think everyone is confused, especially the DOH.  This rollout is an incomprehensible mess.  The online tool being touted by the DOH is only good for the current tier – not helpful at all.  It can’t be used to find future eligibility for the vaccine.  I also don’t understand the hypocrisy of the state over the last year characterizing those over 65 as “high risk”, yet now not including those 65 – 69  in ANY tier for all of 2021.

  • Mountain Dawg January 8, 2021 (7:03 pm)

    This chart is so convoluted and confusing. So, being a senior between 66-70, there is no CLEAR timeline for my retired age group?

    • WSB January 8, 2021 (7:19 pm)

      Not currently.

  • PJ January 10, 2021 (5:29 pm)

     My husband turned 77 last November, 2020 and has preexisting conditions.  But I am only 64. Since I live with him and assist him, can I get the vaccination during B1 like him?

    • WSB January 10, 2021 (7:08 pm)

      There’s some elaboration in this document (where you can read all the fine print):
      “People 50 years and older in a multigenerational (2 or more generations) household
      These individuals would be at risk either due to:
      • Vulnerability (e.g., older adult or elder who cannot live independently and is being cared for by a relative or in-home
      • Risk of exposure (e.g., older adult or elder who is living with someone who works outside the home, older adult or elder
      taking care of a grandchild)
      • Not include an older adult who is able to live independently and is taking care of the individual’s children”

  • Terry L Nevin January 14, 2021 (4:08 pm)

    I am 70 and my wife is 69. Will we be able to get our shot at the same time?

    • WSB January 14, 2021 (5:57 pm)

      Depends on a whole host of other factors still in flux.

  • ALF January 17, 2021 (1:41 pm)

    I have to agree with complaints about the confusing nature of this chart. As a side-note, it looks like at federal request, a lot of states (CA being one), are now expanding 70+ down to 65+. However, my concern is about the arbitrary 50+ cutoff. My husband is a transit worker with Type 1 diabetes, asthma, and a history of developing pneumonia. He is 45. This chart puts him, at earliest, 1B3. Alongside homeschooled teenagers, behind healthy 50-year-old co-workers, and behind healthy 50-year-olds who live with their kids. How on earth does this make sense? My quarantined, retired parents in CA will have their first dose within days (for which I am grateful), but this chart has my husband continuing to work unprotected until March?? I work in public health and have such respect for the obstacles being faced by the health depts in our county and state. But c’mon, this chart is FULL of holes. My only hope is that reality will look very little like it.

  • Mark Noonan January 20, 2021 (6:36 pm)

    This ANGERS ME.  Why were those with Comorbidities moved from Phase B tier One to tier 3.  I’m extremely angry. 

  • Mike Stanley January 21, 2021 (12:35 pm)

    I’m 76 years old, male, living at my home with my younger wife, when can I  expect to get my shots?  Easy question, please be specific. Thank you 

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