Two additional healthcare facilities were approved to receive and administer the COVID-19 vaccines last week, according to a press release from the Grant County Health District.

Three facilities have already received and began administering the vaccines over the last three weeks. Those facilities in addition to those recently approved, brings the total to five that may get the vaccine. The health district is hopeful the vaccine reaches these communities soon; however, it is still very limited.

Phase 1A health care workers and first responders in Quincy received the first dose of the vaccine in late December. Samaritan Healthcare staff partnered with Quincy Valley Medical Center to administer the vaccine at Quincy High School.

The Washington State Department of Health also announced vaccine distribution phases last week. Currently, the state is still in Phase 1A, which includes high-risk workers in health care settings such as doctors and nurses, high-risk first responders such as emergency medical services, and residents and staff of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other congregate living settings where most residents are over 65 years old.

The state health department has also created an online tool called PhaseFinder, which determines eligibility for the vaccine. However, the tool only determines eligibility for those who fall under Phase 1A. As plans for future phases are confirmed, the PhaseFinder tool will also help people to find out what phase they are eligible. The PhaseFinder tool can be found at http://www.findyourphasewa.org/.

The next phase; Phase 1B, Tier 1, includes those over the age of 70 and those over 50 years old who live in a multigenerational household. Phase B1 may start as early as Jan. 18, according to the health district press release, but the start date will depend on vaccine availability and how many people in Phase A1 still need to get the vaccine. Grant County Health District will announce when Phase B1 is eligible for the vaccine.

Information on eligibility for Phases 2, 3 and 4 will be released at a later date.

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