Update to Vaccination Eligibility Guidance Announced Last Week for Life Science Employees In Washington State

Last week, Governor Inslee expanded vaccine eligibility for some essential workers, and the Department of Health (DoH) updated their vaccine eligibility guidance and timing. However, the DoH is now reevaluating all guidance for Phases 2-4 while still trying to open vaccine eligibility to the public by May 1.

Here’s where things stand:
• Manufacturing workers, specifically, “those who work in an enclosed congregate setting interacting with high volumes of individuals over an extended period of time (i.e., >3 hours in a 24 hour day),” are now included in Phase 1b-4 and will be eligible for vaccination tentatively on March 31st.  Complete guidance here.

• As of March 18, 2021, Phases 2-4 are now tentative. DoH is re-evaluating future vaccine eligibility phases based on COVID-19 vaccine supply and demand while trying to meet the Secretary of Health and Human Services directive to make everyone eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, 2021.

• Tentative Phase 2 guidance (which can be found on page 33 of this document) includes, “all critical workers who are in industries essential to the functioning of society and are unable to perform roles remotely.” The date for Phase 2 is still TBD. The list of critical workers can be found here and was expanded based on Life Science Washington’s request to include, “workers and facilities supporting essential research, development, operations and clinical trials, including biotech therapies.”