SRHD still working to get healthcare workers vaccinated, even as state moves to Phase B1

Sacred Heart Hospital
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Regional Health District fielded questions regarding the recent move to Phase B1 of the state’s vaccination plan—and while they hope to be vaccinating a wider group of people, they do not have the resources just yet.

Interim Health Officer Dr. Frank Velazquez said the State Department of Health is discussing strategies to expand the number of people who can get vaccinated — talks which address resources, structure and planning.

The National Guard has been activated to assist in distribution and administration of the vaccine, including in Spokane, where members have been assigned to start doling out doses from the Spokane Arena.

RELATED: Spokane Arena to be mass COVID-19 vaccination site

Inslee announced Monday that Washington is moving to phase B1 of the vaccination plan, which includes anyone 65 years or older, as well as anyone 50 or older in a multi-generational home — which means two or more generations, for instance, a household with parents, a child and a grandparent.

RELATED: Washington moving to Phase 1B of vaccine rollout plan, will now include anyone 65 and older

The state is, however, still trying to work through the tiers of Phase 1A — which includes high-risk healthcare workers, long-term care residents and first responders.

Velazquez notes that Spokane County has the second-highest concentration of healthcare providers in the state, which is why they have had to take a lot of time to get workers vaccinated.

While you may qualify for a vaccine, Velazquez warns there may not be a vaccine immediately available for you.

SRHD Health Program Specialist Kayla Myers explained that Phase B1 consists of 1.5 million people across all of Washington, but the state is only getting around 100,000 doses of the vaccine every week.

“There’s[sic] goals being put in place, however the supply is not quite there yet,” said Myers.

Moving to the next phase means laying the groundwork for a more widespread vaccination effort, but it does not guarantee that those vaccines will all be ready to be administered right away.

To check exactly where the state is at in the vaccination phases, visit the Find Your Phase WA website.