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What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in Washington Monday

Here's what you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in Washington state on Monday, March 8.

CDC says fully-vaccinated people can gather without masks

Fully-vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials.

The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.

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Benefit of kids returning to Washington classrooms outweighs COVID-19 risk, some experts say

Good hand hygiene, good air ventilation, wearing face masks and social distancing is what one Seattle-area doctor says will keep kids safe from COVID-19 in classrooms.

While teachers can now get COVID-19 vaccines in Washington state, students can't. But some health experts believe the benefit of getting kids back in the classroom outweighs the risk of them catching the virus. 

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How many people in Washington state have been vaccinated for COVID-19?

The state has issued more than 2 million doses of the vaccine and has vaccinated more than 1.3 million people as of March 6, 2021. More than 751,000 people have been fully vaccinated — 9.95% of the state's population, according to the Washington State Department of Health's COVID-19 data dashboard.

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VERIFY: Women should wait to get a mammogram after getting a COVID-19 vaccine

As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be distributed in the United States, a new directive is getting a lot of attention online because it affects so many women.

In a recent blog post, Swedish Medical Center in Seattle discouraged women from getting a mammogram right after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. But why?

Health experts said the COVID-19 vaccine may cause lymph nodes to swell, which can impact mammogram results, so they're advising women to wait 4-6 weeks after receiving the vaccine to get a routine mammogram.

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Snohomish County opens Johnson & Johnson-only vaccination site

Snohomish County just opened a new mass vaccination site at Angel of the Winds Arena for the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The county received 5,000 doses of the newly released vaccine. The people who were quick enough to book appointments before they filled up were grateful, overwhelmed and excited.

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King County health officials urge caution despite promising COVID-19 vaccine rates

Public Health – Seattle & King County announced promising figures to show how COVID-19 cases are significantly lower now compared to several months ago, but urged caution as new variants continue to appear in the region.

Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin said in a video news conference Friday that the decline in reported COVID-19 cases has now plateaued.

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Update from Washington State Hospital Association

Washington State Hospital Association CEO Cassie Sauer praised the Johnson & Johnson vaccine during a briefing Monday, saying the association supports the message of taking whatever vaccine is readily available.

Sauer said J&J's vaccine was tested in a more challenging environment than Pfizer's or Moderna's and showed promising results at preventing serious illness or death, which is key.

Meanwhile, 170,000 3M masks that the hospital association ordered to replace counterfeit ones have been distributed.

How to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released an online portal to check your eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. Use the Phase Finder tool to input personal information like age, health conditions and essential worker status to determine if it's your turn.

As of March 3, Washington is vaccinating people in Phase 1A and the first tier of Phase 1B. That includes:

  • High-risk health care workers and first responders
  • Long-term care residents
  • People 65 years old and older
  • People 50 years old and older in multigenerational households
  • Teachers, school staff and childcare workers

If you are eligible, find a list of vaccine providers on the DOH website and information on how to make an appointment.

LIST: Mass COVID-19 vaccine sites in western Washington