Washington: COVID-19 Allocation Framework


Utilize state vaccine data, clinical trial data, federal guidance, and community feedback to determine vaccine allocation for Washington.


COVID-19 prevention initiatives are challenging because of inadequate community support and enforcement power from leadership. COVID prevention programs had limited success because of a lack of trust in the government and the healthcare system. In addition, misinformation campaigns in the media and on social media platforms have created a bias against COVID-19 prevention strategies. Individuals are concerned about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine distribution is challenging because it requires carefully assessing population risk and determining which groups to prioritize. To maximize distribution efforts, it is crucial to understand the motivators for vaccine compliance and to engage the communities with appropriate outreach and communications.


To positively affect SARS-CoV-2-associated morbidity and mortality, Washington incorporated research and feedback from at-risk populations to establish an appropriate allocation framework. Interviews and focus groups were utilized to engage the public and reach high-risk populations. This system sought to balance maximum benefit, equal concern, and mitigation of health inequities to create an allocation schedule that was fair, transparent, and evidence-based. The criteria evaluated for the allocation framework included risk of infection, risk of mortality and morbidity, risk of negative societal impact, and risk of transmission.


The data gathered from community members and partners informed the vaccine distribution plan for the state of Washington. The resulting allocation framework prioritized groups with the highest risk of acquiring and transmitting COVID-19. The framework ensures equitable, safe, and efficient vaccine distribution and serves as a basis for collaboration with healthcare professionals, the federal government, and community partners working to increase vaccine access.

Years: 2020, 2021

Locations: Washington

Programmatic Areas: COVID-19, Public Health Functions

Key Words: Partnership, using immunization data

Evidence Based: No

Evaluations: No

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