Inslee on vaccine mandate: ‘We’re going to save a lot of lives’


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee spoke to the media during his trip to Spokane on Wednesday.

Alongside hospital workers, Gov. Inslee spoke about the statewide vaccine requirement for state workers and other groups. The mandate states all workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18, with Oct. 4 being the last day to get the second shot.

Inslee acknowledged not everyone is following the order — but says he does not expect the number of healthcare workers leaving their jobs to be a large amount.

“I believe as a result of this… We’re going to save a lot of lives in our state,” he said.

The governor added that as of now there is no plan to call in the National Guard to help fill in gaps from unvaccinated healthcare workers.

However, Inlsee did ask the federal government for assistance staffing hospitals and long-term care facilities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic last week.

Inslee wrote Jeffrey Zients, the White House COVID-19 coordinator, that the state Department of Health has requested 1,200 clinical and non-clinical staff, and that he was requesting deployment of Department of Defense medical personnel “to assist with the current hospital crisis.”

Inslee spokesman Mike Faulk said the state had not yet received a response.

The Associated Press contributed to this KOIN 6 News article.

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