New vaccine schedule: Everyone over 65
All Washington residents over 65 can now receive the covid-19 vaccine, as can everyone over 50 who lives in a multigenerational household.
As the state enters Phase 1B of vaccine rollout, Gov. Jay Inslee announced some new plans January 18, including lowering of the age threshold from 70 to align with new CDC guidance. Phase 1A — mostly medical workers — will continue meanwhile.
Under the new schedule, once half of people in Phase 1B, Tier 1 are vaccinated, people in the next tier can start to receive it, and so on. The next tier includes people over 50 who work in congregate settings like agriculture, grocery stores, childcare, law enforcement and public transport.
Inslee also wants to increase the number of people vaccinated in Washington, and create more mass vaccination infrastructure. The state is vaccinating 13,000 to 15,000 people per day; Inslee’s goal is to vaccinate 45,000 daily. This is a higher goal than the daily federal vaccine allocation for the state, but Inslee is optimistic the state can meet it as more doses are manufactured.
Inslee also announced a new Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center, a public-private partnership to help with vaccine distribution. Partners include Kaiser Permanente, Starbucks, Microsoft and labor unions and the National Guard, who will help plan mass vaccination clinics and various logistics.
If you’re still confused about when you can get vaccinated, the state Department of Health has a new online tool designed to help: http://findyourphasewa.org.
Newcomer runs for mayor
Architect and housing advocate Andrew Grant Houston is running for mayor, the second candidate to enter the race after Lance Randall, a business and economic development specialist in South Seattle, announced in the fall.
The race is wide open. Mayor Jenny Durkan is not seeking a second term, and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, curbing longtime speculation, announced she will not run for mayor either.
Houston, a first-time candidate, works as interim policy advisor for Mosqueda. He told Capitol Hill Seattle he was motivated to run partly from a feeling of frustration that Seattle is not building housing fast enough. His top three priorities are building 2,500 new tiny homes, a corporate income tax to pay for permanent supportive housing, and ensuring bus service is restored to its levels before the pandemic.
A 31-year-old Capitol Hill resident, Houston moved from Austin, Texas, to Seattle in 2016.
Houston’s campaign is working on gathering enough pledged supporters to participate in the Democracy Vouchers program. The program — which allows voters to help fund campaigns directly — is available to mayoral candidates for the first time this year.
Read more in the Jan. 20-26, 2021 issue.