From Washington State Department of Health Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)
Although children in general are at less risk from COVID-19, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) may be at increased risk for severe illness with COVID-19. Below is information on options for accessing vaccinations in Washington State for CYSHCN, their families, and providers.
When Can My Child Get Vaccinated?
- Right now there are no vaccines approved for children under 16.
- NEW! Youth 16 years or older with down syndrome, a development disability, intellectual disability, or are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/low-vision, or deafblind AND that disability or an underlying condition increases their risk for severe outcomes are eligible in Phase 1B Tier 2. This phase is expected to start around March 22nd.
- Those with 2 or more comorbidities or underlying conditions are eligible in Phase 1B Tier 3 which is expected to begin on April 26th. Those with only one condition are eligible sometime in Phase 2 which is expected to begin in late spring or summer. Further details on Phase 2 are not out yet.
- If your child lives in a congregate residential setting they are eligible to be vaccinated now as part of congregate residential setting they are eligible to be vaccinated now as part of Phase 1A .
- Certain vaccines may not be appropriate for youth with specific conditions such as significant allergies. Contact your child’s health care provider for more information.
When Can I Get Vaccinated to Protect Myself and My Child?
- NEW! You are now eligible in Phase 1A if your child has an underlying health condition or disability that puts them at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness and they need caregiving support for their daily, functioning, and health needs. Visit Phase Finder and answer “yes” to the question that asks if you a worker in a health care setting. It will give you a confirmation that you are eligible that you can print out and take to a vaccine provider.
- If your child is over 18 and you are contracted with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) as their personal care provider, you are eligible now as part of Phase 1A. Find out more information here and download the DSHS Vaccine Verification Letter to bring to your health care provider.
What about the Providers that Work with my Child?
- Healthcare providers are eligible now during Phase 1A. This includes speech (SLP), occupational (OT), and physical therapists (PT), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), mental health, and early intervention (Early Support for Infants and Toddlers – ESIT) providers.
- Providers that are affiliated with a healthcare organization that is administering the vaccines can get a vaccine from their organization.
- Providers that are not affiliated with a healthcare organization administering the vaccine can get a voucher letter from their employer that they can take to a vaccination site to get vaccinated.
Personal Care and Respite Providers
- If your child has providers that are contracted DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) providers, they are eligible now as part of Phase 1A. They can find out more information here and download the DSHS Vaccine Verification Letter to bring to their health care provider.
Teachers and School Staff
- Healthcare workers in schools such as school nurses, SLPs, OTs, and PTs are eligible now as part of Phase 1A.
- Teachers over age 50 are eligible as part of Phase 1B2 which is expected to start in February.
- Other teachers will be eligible in Phase 1B4 which is expected to start in April, unless they meet other requirements for earlier phases.
I’m Eligible! How do I get my vaccination?
- Visit www.FindYourPhaseWA.org to find a list of places to get your vaccine.
- If you are a DSHS contracted provider, download the DSHS Vaccine Verification Letter to bring to an enrolled vaccine provider.
- Providers that are affiliated with a healthcare organization that is administering the vaccines can get a vaccine from their organization, if their organization is an enrolled vaccine provider.
- Healthcare providers that are not affiliated with a healthcare organization administering the vaccine can get a voucher letter from their employer that they can take to a vaccination site to get vaccinated, or they can use www.FindYourPhaseWA.org.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created the Pharmacy Partnership for LongTerm Care program, a partnership with CVS and Walgreens to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccines to residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other community-based, congregate living settings where most individuals over 65 years of age are receiving care, supervision, or assistance. LTCF staff who have not received COVID-19 vaccine can also be vaccinated as part of the program. Some long-term care facilities are getting their vaccines from other pharmacies in the state program instead of through the federal pharmacy partnership.
How Much Will it Cost to Get Vaccinated
- The federal government will cover the full cost of the vaccine. You should not be charged out of pocket costs or receive a bill from your provider for the COVID-19 vaccine. This applies to people who have private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or are uninsured.
- You should not be charged for an office visit if you only receive the vaccine. If other services are performed along with the administration of the vaccine, it may be billed as an office visit. Seek clarification from your provider and insurance company if you are charged an office visit fee.
- This table summarizes how we anticipate vaccine administration fees will be covered.
Where Can I Find More Information?
This information is current as of the date of this publication (see footer). Please consult the Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Information website for the most current information.
Guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on Caring for CYSHCN During the Pandemic
COVID-19 Resources for CYSHCN from the Lucile Packard Foundation • For vaccine distribution related questions please email COVID.Vaccine@doh.wa.gov
NEW! The BLIND COVID Access phone line (360-947-3330) allows blind and low vision individuals to ask questions regarding access to resources related to COVID-19. BLINDCOVID.com will host additional resources and communication on vaccination testing, vaccine sites, and navigating daily life in the pandemic.
Please email ImmuneNurses@doh.wa.gov for clinical questions related to the vaccine
For CYSHCN specific questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on specific conditions associated with increased risk for COVID-19 from the CDC