Contact: Carey Guhlke-Falk
Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced Tuesday the move into Phase 1 Tier B1 for COVID-19 vaccinations. The phase includes individuals age 65 and over and those over 50 who live in a multigenerational household. Because of the expansion, Lincoln Hospital and Clinics is now providing COVID-19 vaccinations to this group of people as the vaccine supply is available.
“We would love to vaccinate everyone who wants it, but we have to have the vaccine to do it and we have to follow the state’s distribution plan,” said Katie Schenk, Clinics Manager for Lincoln Hospital and Clinics. The clinics have been inundated with phone calls from people interested in receiving the vaccine. “We are working diligently to be good stewards of our minimal supply to ensure those in our communities who meet the current criteria and are higher risk have an opportunity to be vaccinated.”
Currently, the clinics plan to have 100 doses available to them that will be distributed at a scheduled vaccine clinic today (Thursday) with a booster clinic scheduled in February. It is unknown how many doses will be later allocated by the state, or if vaccines will arrive on a regular basis. More vaccine is being actively sought out by the hospital district and will be immediately distributed to the community based on the appropriate phase distribution criteria.
Vaccines are still available to individuals in Phase 1, Tier A1 and A2 and this group is placed as a priority. These include health care employees, first responders, and staff and residents of long-term care facilities.
The clinics are scheduling vaccinations based on a waiting list of qualified patients and encourage anyone who would like to be on the list to contact them - even if they aren’t eligible for vaccination until a later phase. “We’ll ask you questions to assess your eligibility and placement on the waiting list and we ask for patience in the process. This helps us determine the need and plan for distribution,” Schenk said.
More information about the vaccine rollout can be found at www.doh.wa.gov . Call 509-725-7501 to be placed on the waiting list.