The technical advisory group (TAG) to consider COVID-19 for inclusion in chapter 246-105 WAC will conduct its second business meeting Feb. 17, 2022 and consider (3) criteria from the Board’s Immunization Criteria document. Members will review, discuss, and vote on criteria #1, #2, and #4 at the meeting.
Criteria 1 is under the category of vaccine effectiveness. Members will consider if the vaccine containing the antigen is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and included on its Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule.
Criteria 2 is under the category of vaccine effectiveness. Members will consider if the vaccine containing the antigen is effective as measured by immunogenicity and population-based prevention data in Washington State, as available.
Criteria 4 is under the category of vaccine effectiveness. Members will consider if the experience to date with the vaccine containing this antigen demonstrates that it is safe and has an acceptable level of side effects.
Background and Summary
The Board held the first business meeting of the TAG on Feb. 10. Members discussed and voted on criteria #5 and #6 from the Board’s Immunization Criteria document. Criteria 5 is under the category criteria of disease burden. Members discussed whether the vaccine containing the antigen prevents disease(s) that has significant morbidity and/or mortality in at least some sub-set of the population. The TAG members voted that the criterion was met for both criteria. Criteria 6 is under the category criteria of disease burden. Members discussed if vaccinating against the disease reduces the risk of person-to-person transmission, with transmission in a school or childcare setting or activity being given the highest priority. Most TAG members voted that the criterion was met, but some members indicated uncertainty and noted that more evidence was needed.
The Board and DOH held a TAG orientation meeting on Dec. 29, 2021. The Board received a briefing on the Board’s immunization criteria and process used to consider additions to chapter 246-105 WAC at the Oct. 2021 Board meeting. After discussion, Board members voted to direct staff to begin the process of convening a TAG, in coordination with the state Department of Health to assess the COVID-19 vaccine against the nine criteria and develop a recommendation for the Board.
The Board is convening a technical advisory group (TAG) in coordination with the state Department of Health (DOH) to develop recommendations for the Board to use when considering whether to add COVID-19 vaccine to the rules setting immunization documentation requirements required for school and child care entry. The Board has authority under RCW 28A.210.140 to adopt rules establishing the procedural and substantive requirements for full immunization. Chapter 246-105 WAC governs the immunization of children in school and childcare against certain vaccine preventable diseases.
The TAG will consider other criteria in the Board's Immunization Criteria Document at its future meetings. The TAG will host its last meeting on Thursday, Feb. 24 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. At the conclusion, TAG members will make a recommendation whether to add the vaccine to the state’s list of required immunizations for school entry.
The Board, at their discretion, may or may not approve the TAG’s recommendation. If the Board were to vote at a future meeting to move forward, then the Board would initiate rulemaking to consider adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required childhood immunizations for school and day care entry. The exemption allowances currently listed in the state’s immunizations law would be available for families and their children who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. These exemptions include medical, religious, philosophical or personal exemptions.
- Feb. 17 TAG Meeting web page (includes links to the agenda, meeting materials, and other TAG-related resources)
- The TAG FAQ has been updated to reflect the future meeting dates and times.
- General information about the TAG and additional resources about the TAG are available on our website.
- Links to presentations, a meeting recording, and additional resources are available on the Feb. 10 Meeting web page.
- Meeting information is available on the Board’s Meetings web page.