All Washington adults will be vaccine eligible April 15, Governor Inslee says

Washington
Ted S. Warren

Syringes with doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, are shown next to vaccination cards, Saturday, March 13, 2021, on the first day of operations at a mass vaccination site at the Lumen Field Events Center in Seattle, which adjoins the field where the NFL football Seattle Seahawks and the MLS soccer Seattle Sounders play their games. The site, which is the largest civilian-run vaccination site in the country, will operate only a few days a week until city and county officials can get more doses of the vaccine.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — All Washington adults age 16+ will become eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations on April 15, Governor Jay Inslee announced during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. Previously, state leaders planned to open vaccinations to all adults by May 1.

COVID-19 vaccinations began in Washington state on December 15, 2020. Precisely four months later, eligibility is set to expand to all adults in the state. This decision was made in part due to assurance from federal leaders that the state will see increased vaccine allocations.

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State leaders are accelerating this process due to an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases throughout Washington. Opening COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults 16+ is a tool to limit community spread and stop another spike from happening.

Over many months, Washington Department of Health (DOH) experts have diligently expanded COVID-19 vaccine accessibility for those who need it most. The state began by prioritizing the frontline healthcare workers in hospitals, doctor’s officers and emergency rooms who helped those most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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More recently, this eligibility has expanded to people working or living at long-term care facilities, or those who had disabilities or co-morbidities. Washington state leaders’ next step was to open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people in congregate settings like farmworkers, or essential grocery store staff.

Now that many Washingtonians who put their own health and safety on the line to assist others are accounted for, the state is expanding eligibility to all adults. To find a COVID-19 vaccination appointment near you, click here to visit the DOH’s Vaccine Locator tool.

To watch the Governor’s press conference live on our site for more information about expanded eligibility, click here.

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