Governor Inslee recently announced the Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) guidance for Phase 1B public distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. This approach focuses on prioritizing those individuals at greatest risk for COVID-19 acquisition and severe disease. With this announcement, we want to provide clarity around implications for our UW Medicine employees who do not work in the hospital or clinical environment and who will now fall under the timing and qualifications of the state’s vaccine availability phases.
To determine your assigned vaccination priority group, we encourage you to use the DOH online tool, Phasefinder. The tool currently provides eligibility timing for employees within Phase 1A. We expect that it will expand to other groups within the week. Additionally, updated information about UW Medicine’s vaccine distribution is available on our COVID-19 website.
Due to the limited vaccine supply and high demand, we will not be accepting walk-ins at any UW Medicine vaccination site, hospital or clinic. We will be providing appointment scheduling instructions for eligible employees as the DOH releases each set of priority groups. You will also be able to make an appointment with your pharmacy or primary care provider depending upon vaccine supply.
We recognize that this process has been frustrating for those UW Medicine employees who are not directly in the clinical environment and yet are critical to our mission of improving the health of the public. While we are required to follow DOH guidance and the phases for vaccinating eligible employees, we continue to seek clarification from the DOH when questions arise. Details will follow in the coming days about subsequent vaccine eligibility tiers and timing within Phase 1B.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to align with DOH guidance and for your continued dedication to this important work. Vaccinating our employees and other healthcare workers in the community is a crucial step on the path toward ending this pandemic, and we are committed to supporting that effort.
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics
Vice President for Medical Affairs
University of Washington
Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington and
President, UW Physicians