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December 22, 2020

Guidance Excerpt from The Washington State Department of Health:

The Washington State Department of Health has developed this guidance for COVID-19 vaccine allocation and prioritization to facilitate harmonized planning for distribution across Washington State. This guidance is the result of several months of engagement with expert groups and community partners to gather input and ideas (more details coming in full guidance). Given current information and federal guidance, we are providing guidance on Phase 1a that incorporates this input while staying aligned with the principles and criteria noted below. We are continuing to develop the other phases.
The guidance will be updated to provide details on the other phases based on:
• New information from clinical trials
• New federal guidance and vaccine recommendations
• Ongoing feedback from impacted communities, partners, sectors, and industries
In all circumstances, although reinfection appears uncommon during the initial 90 days after symptom onset, prior confirmation of COVID-19 infection will not exclude any individual from eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine and serologic testing is not being recommended prior to vaccination.

Currently, we are limiting Phase 1 of the allocation framework to Phase 1a including the following populations:
• High-risk workers in health care settings
• High-risk first responders
• Residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals
over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance

Phase 1a
Phase 1a focuses on (a) high-risk workers in health care settings and high-risk first responders in order to protect our medical care response capacity and (b) residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance aiming to avoid hospitalizations, severe morbidity, and mortality. The table below identifies the desired objectives for this phase and guidance regarding what type of workers would be prioritized for vaccine allocation in this phase. We are providing recommendations that closely align with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and include risk stratification given limited vaccine. CDC has provided initial COVID-19 vaccine supply projections for the first two months. Assuming Washington state receives approximately 2 percent of the total projections (Washington’s approximate proportion of total U.S. population), our state might expect between 150,000 to 350,000 doses in the first month and between 500,000 to 1 million doses in the second month (inclusive of second doses). Also note that many residents of long-term care facilities will be served via a federal pharmacy program that will begin in late December, and the program will draw down from the Washington state vaccine allotment. Given limited vaccine, clinical judgment should be applied to identify who is at greatest risk using the guidance below while recognizing that any workers in health care settings and first responders who are not prioritized in this phase would be considered critical workers in future phases. The guidance includes considerations for such sub-prioritization. Furthermore, agencies may consider staggering vaccine schedules of teams to avoid potential clustering of worker absenteeism related to systemic reactions. Beyond ACIP, this guidance was developed based on input and review by a number of experts including Washington advisory groups (Vaccine Advisory Committee, Disaster Medical Advisory Committee, COVID-19 Science Advisory
Working Group, Association for Professionals in Infection Control), health care providers, and local health jurisdictions (including health officers).

For full information in this guidance excerpt click here

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