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State vaccine mandate deadlines are fast approaching

To comply with governor’s order, first shots are needed as soon as Sept. 6


OLYMPIA (Sept. 2, 2021) — Gov. Jay Inslee has established a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for most Washington state employees; higher education, childcare, and K-12 education employees; state contractors; and most healthcare and long-term care providers. Under the governor’s proclamations, all affected workers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 in order to remain employed.

But that doesn’t mean you can wait until Oct. 18 to get your shot. The governor’s order defines “fully vaccinated” as:

A person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise approved by the FDA (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after they have received a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise approved by the FDA (e.g., Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen.

NOTE: Since that first order, the Pfizer vaccine has been fully approved by the FDA.

In other words, after your last shot, it takes another two weeks to be fully vaccinated. That’s because you don’t get the maximum protection the vaccine offers on the first day.

Because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot, and because the other vaccines have different recommended intervals between their two shots — 28 days for Moderna and 21 days for Pfizer — here is a timeline of when you need to get your first shot in order to be “fully vaccinated” and comply with the governor’s order:

Moderna — First shot by Sept. 6 and last shot by Oct. 4

Pfizer — First shot by Sept. 13 and last shot by Oct. 4

Johnson & Johnson — Shot by Oct. 4.

For more information about the safety and efficacy of these vaccines, check out the Washington State Labor Council’s COVID Vaccine Information page.

When you’re ready to get vaccinated, visit Washington state’s Vaccine Locator to find vaccine appointments near you.

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