OLYMPIA, Washington (AP) – Restaurant workers and people with two or more specific underlying illnesses are among the groups eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 31. This was announced on Thursday by the Washington government. Jay Inslee.
Inslee also announced that the current nationwide eviction moratorium, which expires at the end of the month, will be extended to June 30, 2021.
The decision to extend eligibility will be made the day after grocery store workers, law enforcement agencies and farm workers are eligible for the vaccination, along with pregnant women and people with a disability who are at high risk for serious COVID-19 disease. This group joined others who have been gradually vaccinated since the process began in December, including but not limited to health care workers, the elderly, and teachers.
Currently, around 3 million residents of the state with more than 7.6 million residents are already eligible for the vaccine.
The next phase, which comes into effect at the end of the month, will add 2 million more residents:
– People aged 16 and over with two or more comorbidities, including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, liver disease, asthma, and diabetes. Smokers with another underlying medical condition are also eligible as defined by the Centers for Disease Control.
– Everyone between the ages of 60 and 64.
– People aged 16 and over who live in congregation environments such as correctional facilities or group homes for people with disabilities or who are homeless.
– Employees aged 16 and over who work in restaurants, manufacturing and construction.
To date, more than 2.5 million doses of vaccine have been given, and over 12% of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated.
The US has recorded more than 29.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 538,000 deaths. There have been more than 331,000 cases in Washington state and 5,156 deaths.
For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, which will improve in two to three weeks, although long-term effects are unknown. But for some, it can cause more serious illness, including pneumonia and death.
Inslee said that due to rising vaccination rates, visitors or residents who are fully vaccinated are now receiving indoor visits to the state nursing home and long-term care facilities. Visits at the end of life or in emotional crises are still permitted, regardless of vaccination status.
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