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

Garry Clark
Economic Alliance Snohomish County names new CEO

After nationwide search, Garry Clark, a Nebraska business advocate, will take the helm in February.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
COVID relief, vaccine reality and a monster road package

Here’s what’s happening on Day 10 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

A Mob City jammer, "CMonster," skates in a holiday scrimmage at the Everett Skate Deck on Dec. 9, 2018. An online fundraising effort has been started to help support the skating venue during the pandemic. (Anthony Floyd photo)
Skate Deck hopes to open for customers, not take donations

A roller skating coach has launched an online fundraiser, wants to help the place he fears may close.

Man shoots alleged intruder in Everett

Police were investigating after a male was shot and hospitalized.

Man and cat die in Everett apartment fire

Firefighters responded to a smoky second-story unit. A cigarette may have set a mattress on fire.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during a news conference, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Inslee outlined a plan to set up vaccination sites statewide with help from the National Guard and others as part of an overall goal to vaccinate 45,000 people a day against the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Watch: Gov. Jay Inslee press conference on vaccination plans

He was scheduled to announce changes to vaccine administration and a new distribution partnership.

The Lynnwood Link light rail extension breached the 25% milestone for construction in Mountlake Terrace shot on Wednesday December 16, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Sound Transit projects ahead could need another $11.5 billion

Costs for construction and property have soared as revenue dropped during the pandemic.

Marysville Pilchuck High School senior Katelyn Leary is a recipient of the 2020 Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement Award. (Marysville School District)
Marysville Pilchuck senior wins Bronze Cross achievement

Goodie bags in Granite Falls connect teacher with her students Missing the… Continue reading

Syringes are filled with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during the first Phase 2 vaccination for Richmond and Henrico, Va., workers in high-risk professions during a Henrico County Health Department event at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. ( Joe Mahoney/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
Scarcity of vaccine doses slows rollout in Snohomish County

Despite qualifying for the vaccine, people over age 65 may have to wait weeks for a shot.

Most Read