As the COVID-19 Delta variant surges in Washington state, so have hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases, making the need for vaccinations more critical. As a result, Governor Inslee announced today that state employees and healthcare workers will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18.
Does this mandate impact you?
- Nursing Home workers: The vaccine mandate applies to all nursing home workers
- Individual Providers (IPs): Exempt from mandate
- Agency Providers (APs): Exempt from mandate
The mandate also includes exemptions for health and religious reasons.
Nursing Home workers — This mandate requires that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. To meet this requirement, you will need to receive your first Moderna shot by September 13, or Pfizer shot by September 28, in order to have your second Pfizer or Moderna shot by October 4. The single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine would need to be received by October 4. All three shots require 2 weeks after your final dose to be considered fully vaccinated.
As members of our Union, and because of this new mandate, we will be bargaining with our nursing homes on the impacts of this new requirement on caregivers because we know we have the right to bargain any change to our jobs. Watch your email for updates as they become available.
Though IPs and APs are exempt in this mandate, our Union supports equitable efforts to protect workers from COVID-19. This includes vaccines, which have been scientifically proven to significantly reduce the risk of catching, sharing, and dying from this virus. And, based on research by the SEIU 775 Benefits Group, we believe that more than 70% of home care workers have received at least one shot against COVID-19, compared to the statewide average of 58%. This is because we have been caring for the most vulnerable throughout this entire pandemic, whether at home or in nursing homes, and we fought to be included in the first priority group for these vaccines to keep us all of us – ourselves, our families, or clients, our residents – safe.
COVID-19 vaccines are free, and insurance is not required to receive the vaccine.
Here is how anyone 12 years and older can get vaccinated:
- By phone or text. Call the DOH Statewide Vaccine Finder phone line at 1-800-525-0127 or 833-VAX-HELP, then press # and 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, and 3 for all other languages. Text your zip code to GETVAX (438829) or VACUNA (822862) to find a vaccine provider near you.
- Online. You can look online for an appointment at the DOH vaccine locator.
- Through Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente is vaccinating everyone, even if you don’t have Kaiser health insurance. Go here to make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at Kaiser Permanente or by calling 1-800-352-3610.
- At Home. If you or your client are not able to leave home for a vaccine, you can request Homebound Vaccination Services. To do so:
- Call the COVID-19 Assistance Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #. Let them know you need “homebound vaccination services”.
- Complete this form to request Homebound Vaccination Services.
- Call your local health department (contact information can be found here) and tell them you need “homebound vaccination services”.
Directions on ordering PPE can be found here.
Together, we can help to keep our clients, residents, families, and ourselves safer.