Great News for COVID vaccines for People with Disabilities and care providers!
On March 4th, 2021, Governor Inslee announced changes in the Washington State Vaccine Prioritization. The changes clarify guidance for paid and unpaid caregivers and add individuals with disabilities that are at high risk for COVID. For specific information, review the Department of Health’s Vaccine Allocation Guidelines for complete information. A summary of the changes include:
- Currently Eligible – Phase 1A: The definition of eligible caregivers was clarified to include (licensed, unlicensed, paid, unpaid, formal, or informal) individuals who support the daily, functional and health needs of another individual (adult or child) who is at high risk for COVID-19 illness due to advanced age, long-term physical condition, co-morbidities, or development or intellectual disability.
- Currently Eligible – Phase 1B1: This phase now includes licensed and license-exempt childcare workers and K – 12 educators
- Tentatively March 22 – Phase 1B2: This phase is now ALL high-risk workers in certain congregate settings, people age 16 or older who are pregnant, and people age 16 and older who have a disability that puts them at higher risk for COVID. This includes individuals with Down syndrome, a development disability, intellectual disability, or are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/low-vision, or deafblind AND that disability or an underlying medical condition increases their risk for severe outcomes per the CDC guidelines.
- Tentatively April 12 (age 50+) and April 26 (ages 16 – 49) in Phase 1B3: People with 2 or more comorbidities are eligible. See the CDC’s list of conditions that put people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID 19 for full list of comorbidities
- Tentatively April 26 – Phase 1B4: People (residents, staff, volunteers) in congregate living settings (e.g., correction facilities, prisons, jails, detention centers; group homes for people with disabilities) and people experiencing homelessness that access services or live in congregate settings (e.g., shelters, temporary housing) who were not covered in a previous tier.