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caption: Students play a game with teacher Margarita Arias, left, on the playground after collecting flowers on a walk, on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at the Denise Louie Education Center along Beacon Avenue South in Seattle.
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Students play a game with teacher Margarita Arias, left, on the playground after collecting flowers on a walk, on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at the Denise Louie Education Center along Beacon Avenue South in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Teachers, childcare workers eligible for coronavirus vaccine in Washington state

Teachers in Washington state can now get vaccinated following a directive from President Joe Biden and an announcement by Governor Jay Inslee Tuesday afternoon.

In addition to pre-K through 12th grade teachers, school staff and licensed childcare workers are now also eligible for vaccinations.

Tuesday afternoon the governor said they are now part of the 1B-1 vaccination group. The educators and others are expected to get their doses through the federal government’s pharmacy program – by going on the website vaccinefinder.org or contacting their local pharmacy.

They may also join others who are hunting for a dose through the state’s system or their health care provider.

The state’s website – called Phase Finder – will take a little while to update to reflect these changes.

Governor Inslee also said he will soon release details about making more professions eligible, which includes people who work at grocery stores, jails and farms.

“We thank President Biden for taking active steps to ensure adequate vaccine production and distribution to speed up vaccine access for all American adults, and for prioritizing educators,” said Larry Delaney, president of the Washington Education Association, in a statement.

“This should bring a huge sense of relief for educators who have been working in-person for weeks or months."

Delaney said this should “help build trust and confidence for a return to in-person learning.”

Gov. Inslee’s statement on Tuesday followed Biden’s directive that all states must prioritize vaccinations for teachers and childcare workers.

“The good news is that schools will be able to open,” Inslee said. “We are pleased that teachers will be back in the classroom very soon.”