Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 announced an updated statewide vaccine distribution and administration plan to increase the number of Washingtonians vaccinated, as well as establish infrastructure capable of mass vaccinations in the coming months.
Inslee announced that – effective immediately – the vaccination process is moving into Phase B1, which means that everyone over 65-years old is eligible (revised downwards from 70), along with those over 50 who live in multigenerational households.
With this expanded distribution system, the state says its goal is to vaccinate 45,000 Washingtonians per day.
Included in the plan is the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center, a new statewide public-private partnership to boost vaccine distribution efforts. The collaboration includes Washington corporations, labor unions, health care groups and government entities.
The governor was joined by Dr. Umair Shah, secretary, Department of Health; Jane Hopkins, RN, executive vice president, SEIU 1199NW; Brad Smith, president, Microsoft; Kevin Johnson, CEO, Starbucks; Susan Mullaney, president, Kaiser Permanente Washington, and Rogelio Riojas, president and CEO, SeaMar Community Health Centers.
Here’s video of Inslee’s press conference:
“This is a massive effort, and as noble as any cause will be in 2021: Because this is the year we choose to get vaccinated, Washington,” Inslee said during a press conference Monday. “We are removing as many impediments as possible to Washingtonians getting vaccinated, we are going to deliver every dose that comes into our state. We will still be dependent on the federal government for doses, but we are doing everything we can once it gets here.”
Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center (WSVCCC)
The new WSVCCC will be staffed by the Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with Washington business and labor leaders. The public-private partnership will support DOH and the secretary in constructing an infrastructure and coordinating available resources to deliver vaccines across the state as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Each stakeholder in the WSVCCC’s broad coalition will focus on a different facet of vaccine distribution. This includes logistic coordination, allocation strategies, infrastructure support and development, and cross-organizational and agency operational communications.
Some stakeholder responsibilities include:
- Kaiser Permanente: planning expertise for mass vaccination clinics and the distribution of vaccine to healthcare providers throughout the state.
- Starbucks: operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise and support.
- Microsoft: technology expertise and support.
- Costco: vaccine delivery by pharmacies.
- SEIU 1199NW: coordination of volunteer vaccinators to locations where they are most needed.
- UFCW 21: staffing and training coordination of vaccinators.
- WSNA: safety and health consultation for providers.
- SeaMar: voice for historically underserved communities
- National Guard: logistics and infrastructure support
Together, this partnership will work to reach the state’s daily vaccination goal of 45,000. This number is above the current federal allocation for the state but will hopefully be met as manufacturing ramps up in the coming weeks and months. Additionally, putting the infrastructure in place to be able to meet this goal will ensure that the state is ready to effectively distribute vaccines once dosages sent to states is increased.
“Kaiser Permanente Washington is honored to be a part of the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center. We come together to launch this true public and private partnership among Washington health care organizations and our state’s business community, to align and deliver the most effective and safe path to COVID-19 vaccination for all Washingtonians,” stated Susan Mullaney, president, Kaiser Permanente Washington. “Our own health care expertise coupled with the leadership of our state, and the dedication and resources of the best and brightest our state has to offer, is what our community deserves and should expect of us. It is a privilege to serve alongside our public health heroes at both the state and local level to deliver the vaccine to those who need it most.”
“This is an opportunity to serve others and have impact on a significant humanitarian effort,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO.“Governor Inslee has convened some of the best public and private resources and capabilities to engage in a concerted effort to optimize and accelerate the vaccination process across our home state. We are proud to contribute in every way we can to help operationalize and scale equitable access to the vaccine.”
“We applaud today’s critical steps to accelerate vaccine distribution,” Brad Smith, president of Microsoft said. “Microsoft is one of many local companies lending a hand with the confidence that together, we can move faster to defeat this virus.”
“There is nothing more important to our union and to healthcare workers right now than getting vaccinations right. Our patients need it, our economy needs it, and our members and their families need it,” said Jane Hopkins, RN and executive vice president of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. “We are very excited that Governor Inslee and these partners are coming together to leverage the best expertise available to us. Getting vaccinations out and seeing our state through to the end of this pandemic is going to take all of us, and this command team is the model of what that can look like — Washington businesses and labor working together hand in hand for the greater good and bringing our best resources to bear.”
“Today we are speeding up the process of getting vaccine to the people of Washington.” said Dr. Umair Shah, secretary of the Washington State Department of Health. “This is a huge undertaking — no one can do it alone. Together, with the measures Governor Inslee and others have announced, we pledge to make the forward progress the people of Washington deserve to get COVID-19 under control and protect everyone with this life-saving vaccine.”
To meet the state’s vaccination goals and ensure Washingtonians’ access, the governor announced several changes to both distribution phases and state infrastructure. The changes include: