Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement Monday regarding the latest increases in vaccination rates among state employees ahead of the required Oct. 18 vaccine verification deadline. Below is the governor's statement.
"We all can be extremely encouraged with the progress we have made in vaccinating public servants in response to this pandemic. As today's numbers released by the Office of Financial Management show, tens of thousands more public servants residing in communities across our state are now vaccinated, putting themselves and the people they interact with at much lower risk from this virus. The first numbers gathered showed around 49 percent, now we are over 90 percent. The numbers show this strategy to increase vaccinations has been a great success.
"These high vaccination rates will continue to increase, and union-negotiated impacts will give more time to reconsider their choices as they take unpaid leave. I am so thankful for a state workforce that has chosen the right and best path for themselves, their families and communities and the residents they serve. These actions have saved lives, prevented hospitalizations and protected the health of vulnerable populations and the unvaccinated, like young children.
"The state has been diligent in its contingency planning for scenarios after the October 18 vaccination deadline. The sky-high vaccination rates we're seeing should settle any concerns. There will not be massive disruptions in state services.
"I am also extremely pleased to see that healthcare providers are reporting similar encouraging numbers. This morning, the Washington State Hospital Association reported an overall rate of staff vaccination rate of almost 90 percent statewide. I am confident this number will go up as well.
"A lot has been asked of everyone in this pandemic, and each moment has been worth it to protect public health and save lives."