The Washington Department of Health released its timeline for the next round of COVID vaccinations Wednesday, prioritizing those 70 years and older and people 50 and over who live in multi-generational households for inoculation in January.

As of last week, 4,450 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were distributed across seven sites in Yakima County. Gov. Jay Inslee said 87% of the vaccine in hand at Yakima Valley Memorial was administered as of Tuesday.

Yakima Valley Memorial received a shipment of 1,950 doses, although like most organizations, it discovered it was able to squeeze an additional dose out of each vial — meaning it had 2,300 doses to give out. As of Wednesday, the organization had given just short of 2,000 initial doses, officials said.

As of Wednesday, all local hospitals and locally qualified health centers have received COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, all long-term care facilities have begun vaccination for COVID-19 via Walgreens and local pharmacies, according to the Yakima Health District.

Yakima firefighters began to receive their first doses on Tuesday. Yakima Fire Chief Aaron Markham said the injection didn’t hurt.

“It felt no different than the flu shot I get every year,” he said.

The state Department of Health said it would roll out a website called PhaseFinder, where people can find information on when and where they can get vaccinated. The site currently only contains information about the first vaccine phase and will be updated in the coming weeks.

A vaccine dashboard will also go online next week, which will provide county and demographic information on vaccine dissemination.

The state remains in its first phase of vaccinations, 1a, and has not completed all vaccinations for high-risk health care workers, first responders and residents in long-term care facilities.

The new four-tiered vaccine dissemination plan, 1b, outlines who will receive the vaccine through April.

January

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

February

  • 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); child care; corrections, prisons, jails or detention facilities (staff); public transit; fire; law enforcement. 

March

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

April

  • High-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings under 50 years. People, staff and volunteers all ages in congregate living settings, such as correctional facilities; group homes for people with disabilities; people experiencing homelessness who live in or access services in congregate setting. 

Margaux Maxwell reports for the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. She can be reached at mmaxwell@yakimaherald.com.

Digital News Director

Margaux Maxwell reports for the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. She can be reached at mmaxwell@yakimaherald.com.

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