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UPDATE: How you can help administer COVID-19 vaccinations


Vaccine volunteer

As vaccines are being rolled out in commu¬≠ni¬≠ties across Washington state, nurses have been asking how they can help in distri¬≠b¬≠u¬≠tion efforts. To help deliver vaccines across the state, nurses must register as an Emergency Volun¬≠teer Health Practi¬≠tioner in the Washington State Emergency Registry of Volun¬≠teers (WAserv) at WAserv‚Äč.org.

WAserv is a statewide registry of volun¬≠teers who stand ready to respond during public health emergen¬≠cies. Once regis¬≠tered in WAserv, the Washington State Depart¬≠ment of Health (DOH) contacts volun¬≠teers with infor¬≠ma¬≠tion on how they can help. Volun¬≠teers might be asked to assist local facil¬≠i¬≠ties with vacci¬≠na¬≠tions, care for COVID-19 patients, or support medical staff in other ways, depending on their expertise.

Addition¬≠ally, while an emergency procla¬≠ma¬≠tion from the Governor is in effect, a volun¬≠teer health practi¬≠tioner who is licensed in another state may practice in Washington without obtaining a Washington license if they are in good standing in all states of licen¬≠sure and are regis¬≠tered in the volun¬≠teer health practi¬≠tioner system.

What if you have an expired or inactive license? #

On Jan. 31, Secre­tary of Health Dr. Umair Shah autho­rized the Public Readi­ness and Emergency Prepared­ness Act (PREP Act), which allows retired and inactive health care providers to help admin­ister COVID-19 vaccines.

If you have an expired or inactive license, you must meet the following require¬≠ments outlined in the PREP Act:

1. The person held at any time since July 1998 a full active Washington State license to practice as a/‚Äčan

  • Advanced regis¬≠tered nurse practi¬≠tioner, under chapter 18.79 RCW;
  • Regis¬≠tered nurse, under chapter 18.79 RCW;
  • Licensed practical nurse, under chapter 18.79 RCW;
  • Physi¬≠cian, under chapter 18.71 RCW;
  • Osteo¬≠pathic physi¬≠cian and surgeon, under chapter 18.57 RCW;
  • Physi¬≠cian assis¬≠tant (allopathic or osteo¬≠pathic), under chapters 18.71A or 18.57A RCW;
  • Pharma¬≠cist, under chapter 18.64 RCW; or, 
  • Natur¬≠opath, under chapter 18.36A RCW;

2. No license ever held by the person in any United States juris¬≠dic¬≠tion has been subject to enforce¬≠ment action, as deter¬≠mined by the Depart¬≠ment of Health; 

3. The person has performed at least one of the following: 

  1. Admin¬≠is¬≠tered a vaccine by intra¬≠mus¬≠cular injec¬≠tion within the ten years preceding the date of this authorization; 
  2. Partic¬≠i¬≠pated regularly in immuniza¬≠tion services, including admin¬≠is¬≠tra¬≠tion, over the course of their profes¬≠sional experi¬≠ence; and/‚Äčor,
  3. Completed a refresher immuniza¬≠tion training within the six months preceding or at any time after the date of this autho¬≠riza¬≠tion. The training may be given by a person holding a Washington State license in good standing in any profes¬≠sion listed in section 1 above, a health care facility, a person or entity currently autho¬≠rized by the state to provide contin¬≠uing educa¬≠tion to any profes¬≠sion listed in section 1 above, a public health agency, or an accred¬≠ited educa¬≠tional institution; 
  4. The person admin¬≠is¬≠ters COVID-19 vaccines in support of an enrollee or partic¬≠i¬≠pant in the state or federal government‚Äôs COVID-19 vacci¬≠na¬≠tion program; 
  5. The person has regis¬≠tered in WAserv at waserv‚Äč.org, for which instruc¬≠tions can be found here.
  6. The person has received confir¬≠ma¬≠tion from the Depart¬≠ment of Health that (s)he is autho¬≠rized hereunder; and, 
  7. The person has not been other¬≠wise excluded from this autho¬≠riza¬≠tion by the Depart¬≠ment of Health. 

What if you need immunization training? #

If you need additional immuniza¬≠tion training to qualify as a volun¬≠teer, as identi¬≠fied in #3 in the require¬≠ments, the Nursing Care Quality Assur¬≠ance Commis¬≠sion recom¬≠mends these resources:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Preven¬≠tion COVID-19 vaccine training
  • Depart¬≠ment of Heath COVID-19 vaccine training resources
  • Washington State Pharmacy Associ¬≠a¬≠tion immuniza¬≠tion training
  • Oregon Health Science Univer¬≠sity dental immuniza¬≠tion training
  • Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS):
    • VAERS Overview video
    • VAERS demon¬≠stra¬≠tion video

Have questions? #

For more infor¬≠ma¬≠tion about WAserv, visit DOH‚Äôs page or check out the WAserv fact sheet. Questions can be emailed to the WAserv coordi¬≠nator, Kim Butowicz, at WAserv@doh.wa.gov or 360‚ÄČ‚Äď‚ÄČ236‚ÄĎ4090.