Letter from Governor Inslee to hospital administrators: Listen to workers for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Governor Jay Inslee wrote the following letter to hospital admin­is­tra­tors on Dec. 15 strongly encour­aging them to work closely with health care workers and their unions to develop COVID vaccine distri­b­u­tion and prior­i­ti­za­tion plans.

Inslee letter full PDF

December 15, 2020

Dear Washington State Hospital Administrators:

I want to thank you for your partner­ship during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As your hospi­tals have neared capacity and ICU beds have filled this fall, I am proud of the way our Washington hospi­tals have worked together to manage the patient load and not let any one hospital become overwhelmed. I am also appre­cia­tive of your helpful messaging encour­aging people to follow public health guidance around wearing masks, physical distancing, and staying home during the holidays.

With COVID vaccines avail­able imminently, I recog­nize the challenge of getting the limited avail­able doses distrib­uted to your staff and workers in an expedient, organized, and equitable manner. However, I am confi­dent that this can be done in partner­ship with the workers in your facilities.

To that end, I strongly encourage you to work closely with the health care workers and their unions in your facil­i­ties as you are devel­oping your COVID vaccine distri­b­u­tion and prior­i­ti­za­tion plan. It is critical that the worker perspec­tive be a part of the discus­sions, especially because of the impor­tant role they play in deliv­ering care in your facil­i­ties. The workers on the front­lines of treating confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients have valuable experi­ence that can be lever­aged to make the first phase of vaccine rollout run smoothly.

During this pandemic, we have all relied on each other more, and now more than ever, we need to collab­o­rate to get through these challenging, yet hopeful times. I am confi­dent that our strong health care system can come together to make vaccine distri­b­u­tion among health care workers a success.

I look forward to celebrating our defeat of COVID-19 with you in the not-too-distant future.

Very truly yours,

Jay Inslee