Which school workers are impacted by Inslee’s vaccine requirement?

Us Health Officials Call For Booster Shots Against Covid 19

Answer: It's common for protection from vaccines to decrease over time. A tetanus booster, for example, is recommended every 10 years.

Researchers and health officials have been monitoring the real-world performance of the COVID-19 vaccines to see how long protection lasts among vaccinated people. The vaccines authorized in the U.S. continue to offer very strong protection against severe disease and death.

But laboratory blood tests have suggested that antibodies — one of the immune system's layers of protection — can wane over time. That doesn't mean protection disappears, but it could mean protection is not as strong or that it could take longer for the body to fight back against an infection.

The delta variant has complicated the question of when to give boosters because it is so much more contagious and much of the data gathered about vaccine performance is from before the delta variant was widely circulating. Delta is taking off at the same time that vaccine immunity might also be waning for the first people vaccinated.

Israel is offering a booster to people over 50 who were vaccinated more than five months ago. France and Germany plan to offer boosters to some people in the fall. The European Medicines Agency said it too is reviewing data to see if booster shots are needed.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee announced the people working in Washington schools are now required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

So, who does that affect? 

K-12 Schools

Which school workers are affected? 

All people working in K-12 schools are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18. 

That includes: 

  • Educators
  • School staff
  • Coaches
  • Bus drivers
  • School volunteers
  • Any other person working in school facilities

What about private and charter schools? 

This requirement impacts public, private and charter schools, but does not impact tribal schools. 

What about students? 

There is no statewide vaccine requirement for students. 

Can school workers opt out? 

There will be no option for employees to pick frequent COVID testing over getting a vaccine. There will be limited exceptions, including legitimate medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. 

What happens if school workers do not get vaccinated? 

People who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine will be subject to dismissal. 

RELATED: Gov. Inslee issues indoor mask mandate, required vaccinations for school workers

Childcare and early learning providers

The governor’s vaccine requirement also impacts most childcare and early learning providers who serve children from multiple households. 

Education staff, faculty and contractors are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18. 

Which early learning providers are affected? 

  • Licensed, certified and contracted early learning and childcare programs
  • License-exempt early learning, childcare and youth-development programs
  • Contractors (coaches, volunteers, trainers, etc.) 

Providers delivering family, friends and neighbor care are not impacted by the mandate. 

Higher education

People working in Washington’s higher education institutions will also be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Education staff, faculty and contractors will be required to be fully vaccinated by October 18. 

RELATED: 40 Washington superintendents ask Inslee, DOH to reconsider ‘one size fits all’ COVID protocol for schools

RELATED: Washington to require all K-12 students, school employees to wear masks this fall

Masks in schools

Masks will be required for anyone working in a K-12 schools this fall. That means educators, staff, visitors and students.

Schools that do not abide by the mask requirement could lose state funding.

The governor’s office has not issued a mask requirement for higher education institutions, though several universities are taking that step on their own.

READ: School districts that don’t enforce mask-wearing will lose state funding, says OSPI

READ: Gonzaga requiring all people on campus to wear masks