Updates on COVID-19 vaccines
by Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer
Starting March 17, eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine will expand to include residents eligible under Phase 1B2, including critical workers in certain industries and people 16+ who are pregnant or have a disability that puts them at high risk.
I am delighted that so many more of our King County employees who have been on the front lines during the pandemic will now become eligible, including staff working in congregate settings in public transit, corrections, courts, and first responders not covered under earlier phases.
While this is great news, the vaccine supply is still far lower than demand. Public Health-Seattle & King County estimates that we currently have one first dose for every eight eligible people. Vaccine supply and appointment availability may go up and down for another month, and not everyone who is eligible for a vaccine will be able to find an appointment. I know this is frustrating, but vaccine supply will increase significantly over the next few months. I will provide another update with new information soon.
Below you’ll find information about how to check your eligibility, and options for where to access a COVID-19 vaccine. King County will be working to help our high-risk staff eligible under Phase 1B2 understand your options. As supply improves next month, we also look forward to providing additional convenient options and will share details as they become available.
Once Phase 1B2 launches on March 17, I encourage eligible employees to go ahead and look for open appointments across all current options available to you, and not wait. You’ll find the latest information at kingcounty.gov/vaccine.
- Confirm vaccine eligibility: Learn more about who is eligible at www.CovidVaccineWA.org and check your eligibility by using the Phase Finder: findyourphasewa.org
- Schedule an appointment
- Call your doctor’s office or health care provider to see if they have available vaccination appointments.
- Washington State’s Phase Finder online tool can confirm your eligibility and provide you with a list of possible vaccination locations. Phase Finder is available in multiple languages here.
- Visit Washington State Department of Health’s list of vaccination locations, organized by county.
- If you need language interpretation or can’t use the online Phase Finder tool, call the Washington state’s COVID-19 Assistance Hotline: Dial 1-800-525-0127 or 1-888-856-5816, then press #. Available Monday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Tuesday-Sunday and observed state holidays 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For language interpretation, state your preferred language when you are connected. Phone support is also available from the Public Health COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- WA COVID Vaccine Finder is a volunteer-driven effort to help Washingtonians find appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine: www.covidwa.com
- Community vaccination site at Lumen Field. If you live or work in King County and are eligible under Phase 1A through Phase 1B, Tier 2, you can sign up for this notification list and will be notified via email when appointments become available at any of the three City of Seattle fixed vaccination sites, including the Lumen Field Event Center.
- Leave time: If your COVID-19 vaccine appointment occurs during a time you are scheduled to work, please follow regular procedures for requesting leave. Sick leave and COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave may be used for COVID-19 vaccine appointments as well as recovering from side effects.
- After COVID-19 Vaccination: Thank you for getting vaccinated and helping our communities get one step closer to overcoming this pandemic. After vaccination, it’s important to continue COVID-19 precautions to protect co-workers, friends, and family. Please follow Public Health’s guidance at www.kingcounty.gov/vaccine.
Please take care of yourself and continue to take measures to keep yourself, your family, and your community as safe as possible.