UPDATE: How you can help administer COVID-19 vaccinations

Vaccine volunteer

As vaccines are being rolled out in commu­ni­ties across Washington state, nurses have been asking how they can help in distri­b­u­tion efforts. To help deliver vaccines across the state, nurses must register as an Emergency Volun­teer Health Practi­tioner in the Washington State Emergency Registry of Volun­teers (WAserv) at WAserv​.org.

WAserv is a statewide registry of volun­teers who stand ready to respond during public health emergen­cies. Once regis­tered in WAserv, the Washington State Depart­ment of Health (DOH) contacts volun­teers with infor­ma­tion on how they can help. Volun­teers might be asked to assist local facil­i­ties with vacci­na­tions, care for COVID-19 patients, or support medical staff in other ways, depending on their expertise.

Addition­ally, while an emergency procla­ma­tion from the Governor is in effect, a volun­teer health practi­tioner 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 licen­sure and are regis­tered in the volun­teer health practi­tioner 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 require­ments 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/​an
    • Advanced regis­tered nurse practi­tioner, under chapter 18.79 RCW;
    • Regis­tered nurse, under chapter 18.79 RCW;
    • Licensed practical nurse, under chapter 18.79 RCW;
    • Physi­cian, under chapter 18.71 RCW;
    • Osteo­pathic physi­cian and surgeon, under chapter 18.57 RCW;
    • Physi­cian assis­tant (allopathic or osteo­pathic), under chapters 18.71A or 18.57A RCW;
    • Pharma­cist, under chapter 18.64 RCW; or, 
    • Natur­opath, under chapter 18.36A RCW;
  2. No license ever held by the person in any United States juris­dic­tion has been subject to enforce­ment action, as deter­mined by the Depart­ment of Health; 
  3. The person has performed at least one of the following: 
    1. Admin­is­tered a vaccine by intra­mus­cular injec­tion within the ten years preceding the date of this authorization; 
    2. Partic­i­pated regularly in immuniza­tion services, including admin­is­tra­tion, over the course of their profes­sional experi­ence; and/​or,
    3. Completed a refresher immuniza­tion training within the six months preceding or at any time after the date of this autho­riza­tion. The training may be given by a person holding a Washington State license in good standing in any profes­sion listed in section 1 above, a health care facility, a person or entity currently autho­rized by the state to provide contin­uing educa­tion to any profes­sion listed in section 1 above, a public health agency, or an accred­ited educa­tional institution; 
    4. The person admin­is­ters COVID-19 vaccines in support of an enrollee or partic­i­pant in the state or federal government’s COVID-19 vacci­na­tion program; 
    5. The person has regis­tered in WAserv at waserv​.org, for which instruc­tions can be found here.
    6. The person has received confir­ma­tion from the Depart­ment of Health that (s)he is autho­rized hereunder; and, 
    7. The person has not been other­wise excluded from this autho­riza­tion by the Depart­ment of Health. 

What if you need immunization training? #

If you need additional immuniza­tion training to qualify as a volun­teer, as identi­fied in #3 in the require­ments, the Nursing Care Quality Assur­ance Commis­sion recom­mends these resources:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Preven­tion COVID-19 vaccine training
  • Depart­ment of Heath COVID-19 vaccine training resources
  • Washington State Pharmacy Associ­a­tion immuniza­tion training
  • Oregon Health Science Univer­sity dental immuniza­tion training
  • Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS):

Have questions? #

For more infor­ma­tion about WAserv, visit DOH’s page or check out the WAserv fact sheet. Questions can be emailed to the WAserv coordi­nator, Kim Butowicz, at or 360 – 236‑4090.