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OLYMPIA – Wednesday 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. 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 the 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 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 the Washington Department of Health's website.