Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I'm writing today to help make sure you have the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration in our state. There have been bumps along the way in initial efforts to begin vaccinations, which I know is frustrating and confusing. For those who are choosing to get the vaccine, I hope you'll find this information helpful.
What is the plan for distributing and administering COVID-19 vaccines in Washington?
Vaccines are being administered in phases.
As of Monday, we are in Phase 1B-Tier 1, the second in the state's multi-phase plan. This phase allows for all people 65 or older to receive a vaccine if they want one. It also allows all people age 50 or older living in “multigenerational households” — homes where individuals from two or more generations, like an elder and grandchild, reside — are eligible to receive a vaccine if they want one.
Healthcare workers, first-responders, and people living in long-term care facilities were eligible in the first phase of vaccinations. You can learn more about Washington's multi-phase vaccination plan by visiting www.doh.wa.gov.
When and where can I get vaccinated?
Visit the “Phase Finder” website and fill out a questionnaire to determine what phase you qualify for. You can choose to be notified when your phase is activated. The notification will also include information about where you can receive the vaccine locally.
There are several places in Yakima County currently administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Astria Sunnyside Hospital, Astria Toppenish Hospital, Central Washington Family Medicine, Yakima Pediatrics, Yakima Valley Family Clinic, and the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic locations in Grandview, Toppenish, and Yakima are all administering the vaccine.
Will I be charged for the vaccine?
The vaccine will be fully covered by the federal government without cost-sharing. This means you should not receive a bill for the vaccine or related services from the provider. This applies to people who are covered by private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and for those who do not have insurance.
You should not be charged for an office visit if you only receive the vaccine. If other services are performed along with the administration of the vaccine, it may be billed as an office visit. Seek clarification from your provider beforehand and from your insurance company if you are charged an office visit fee.
I will provide you with more updates as the legislative session moves forward. I welcome your emails, calls, and letters as I work on behalf of our great communities. It is an honor to serve you.