Learn More About Vaccine Requirements for K-12 Employees

Last updated: September 16, 2021 - 11:36am

Go to the Yakima Health District's COVID-19 Vaccine page to see where local vaccination locations are, or to find a mobile vaccine clinic near you.

Face coverings are an additional tool we can use to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. They protect others by blocking droplets that contain the virus from spreading to others when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes, or speaks.

Per the CDC, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

However, when in areas of substantial or high transmission (like in our community), the CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others.

You can prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following the Health Officer’s Mask Directive and wearing a face mask in public spaces where it is hard to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. Practice good personal health habits such as covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, washing your hands often with soap and water, cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects, and staying home when you’re sick.

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

Three vaccines have received emergency use authorizations (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the prevention of COVID-19 in the United States. These are the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine*, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

*The Pfizer vaccine received FDA approval on August 23, 2021.

There are several additional vaccine candidates undergoing testing in large-scale clinical trials to ensure they are safe and effective.

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine received an EUA from the FDA on Dec. 11, which was subsequently confirmed by the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, making it ready for use in Washington state. The vaccine may be given to those 12 years of age and older.
  • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine received an EUA on Dec. 18, for use in individuals 18 years of age and older. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup confirmed the vaccine on Dec. 19, 2020.
  • The Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine received an EUA on Feb. 27, for use in individuals 18 years of age and older. Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup confirmation of the vaccine was announced on March 3, 2021.

The CDC recommends everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Getting your child or teen vaccinated can bring you one step closer to enjoying the activities you miss. Children 12 years and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults, children can:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get sick from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others

Vaccines work by helping to make your body’s natural defense against disease—your immune system—even stronger. When you get the vaccine, it prompts your body to make antibodies and other infection-fighting cells to fight the virus. The antibodies stay in your blood and protect you in case you are infected with the virus. Learn more

If you are fully vaccinated and been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. However, if you live or work in a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Individuals with sick household members should follow the same precautions as close contacts AND CDC’s recommendations for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers.

Given the rapid growth in cases and the risk to our hospital systems, we recommend organizers consider the risks of having large events and implementing strict COVID-19 safety measures where possible.

  • Limit attendance to avoid crowds
  • Consider the risks to unvaccinated individuals, including children under the age of 12 who are ineligible for the vaccine. Given the rate of COVID-19 in the community, it is possible someone infected with COVID-19 will attend.
  • Enforce physical distancing of at least six feet between persons
  • Move all events outdoors
  • Significantly increase ventilation in all indoor spaces
  • Limit capacity when indoors
  • Consider not attending crowded events if you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Wear a facemask in all indoor settings, and in outdoor settings when physical distancing is not possible
  • Do not mix with others outside your household
  • Do not attend any events or leave your home if you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 including: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes