Health district releases draft of COVID vaccine plan

Health care workers and long-term care residents would be among first to receive early doses.

EVERETT — Up to 450,000 Washingtonians could receive COVID vaccines by February, according to a Snohomish Health District draft plan.

The federal government has told the state to anticipate receiving 200,000 doses from Pfizer by the end of December, with possibly more on the way from drug-maker Moderna, according to Michele Roberts, Washington’s acting assistant secretary of health, who briefed reporters Wednesday.

The good news comes as health experts continue to plead with Washingtonians to double down on safety measures and stay home for Thanksgiving, as hospitalizations from the coronavirus rise locally and statewide.

“Give thanks, not COVID. This isn’t forever. Just for now,” the health district said in a news release.

First doses of vaccines could arrive in the state as early as Dec. 14 or 15, state officials said Tuesday. Washington is expecting to get 62,400 doses in the initial batch, Roberts said.

On Wednesday, the health district released its blueprint for administering and distributing the initial allotment. It outlines who will get first access and identifies dozens of places where vaccinations will be provided, from hospitals and clinics to Costcos and Targets.

But it will take six to nine months for doses to be widely available in Snohomish County, according to the plan.

And people will need two doses, separated by three to four weeks, depending on the vaccine.

When the Pfizer vaccine is approved, a panel of scientists and health experts will conduct a separate review of its safety and efficacy at the request of Washington, California, Oregon and Nevada. The four states formed the panel in October.

The additional layer of independent review “should not cause any delay” in making initial doses available, Roberts said.

With limited supply, early doses in Snohomish County would go to health care workers who interact with COVID patients, hospital custodians, high-risk first responders like emergency medical technicians, law enforcement and corrections officers.

The first phase could also include all long-term care home staff and residents; people over the age of 65 with health conditions like hypertension, diabetes or heart disease; anyone with multiple health conditions; people living in congregate settings such as farm housing, prisons, group homes and homeless shelters; as well as agricultural and food processing workers.

The second wave of vaccines would include remaining health care workers, school teachers and staff, elected leaders, postal workers, bus drivers, plumbers, electricians and people who work in food supply, utilities, sanitation and waste management.

The third batch would make doses available for everyone else.

However, the county’s phases could change when the state Department of Health releases statewide priorities for vaccination.

Meanwhile, the health district announced two new testing sites, one in Lynnwood and another in Sultan, in addition to the Everett Memorial Stadium and Everett Community College locations.

Testing at the Lynnwood Food Bank, 5320 176th St. SW, will be open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.

The other location, at Sultan Elementary School, 501 Date St., will open next Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, visit

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

The M/V Puyallup docks at the Edmonds waterfront on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 in Edmonds. The ferry along with the passenger loading walkway were struck by lightning last week. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Tune in for virtual meeting on Edmonds-Kingston ferry

The series of Washington State Ferries meetings are for updates and public comment. A recording is available online.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Lawsuit: Defective inhaler led to death of Mountlake Terrace man

Pharmaceutical company Perrigo recalled inhalers in September 2020. Months earlier, Antonio Fritz Sr. picked one up at a pharmacy.

Most Read