Washington state employees no longer required to get COVID booster

Jay Inslee
Credit: Ted S. Warren

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington State employees no longer need to get a COVID-19 booster to remain employed.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued an updated directive on policies Thursday.

The current requirement that new and current state employees be fully vaccinated – meaning they received all doses of the primary series – will remain in place.

The updated directive reflects feedback and recommendations from state employees and labor partners to pursue options for offering incentives for COVID-19 boosters instead of making them a requirement.

The Office of Financial Management is currently in the process of bargaining with labor, which began when the governor issued the original directive on June 30. Based on the outcome of bargaining, more information will become available regarding the incentives and how they will be implemented.

This directive applies to the governor’s executive and small cabinet agencies. The governor encourages other agencies such as higher education and agencies led by separately elected officials to consider implementing similar measures.

In issuing this directive, the governor is exercising his executive authority, not the emergency powers he used to issue other COVID-19-related emergency orders.

READ: Inslee: 94% of state employees comply with vaccine mandate