OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts. We are working with the federal government and local partners within Washington to plan for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available.
DOH staff has been diligently working on an initial guidebook-style plan for the past few weeks, and we are on track to turn it in to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the October 16 due date. The plan itself outlines specific action steps the department will take, like developing an equitable vaccine allocation, setting up strong vaccine infrastructure in Washington, tracking administration data, and planning for effective communication with the public.
We anticipate the plan being posted on the DOH website next week. This plan is an initial plan and will be continuously updated as new information becomes available and as we have further engagement and feedback from our partners.
Washington state is well positioned to receive, handle, distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccine to its residents once a safe and effective vaccine is available. DOH has started its planning by coordinating with state agencies, local government, community leaders, health care providers, neighboring states and other partners. Tribal nations and tribal health organizations are also working hard to respond to the pandemic and support their community members. We continue to work with them government to government as we make plans for a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We continue to work diligently on the many necessary components required to distribute a safe and effective vaccine when one is available,” said John Wiesman, secretary of health.
A great deal of work has been done and there is still more that needs to be done to accomplish the goals set forth in the Washington COVID-19 vaccination plan. DOH is committed to continuing the work necessary and when a vaccine is ready, we will be prepared to deploy it in a way that is equitable, safe and timely for the people of Washington.