Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County

Starting April 15, everyone 16 and older is eligible for a vaccine

Gov. Inslee said an expected increase in vaccine supply enables the state to open eligibility.

OLYMPIA — All Washington residents 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 15, Gov. Jay Inslee announced.

At a news conference March 31, Inslee said an expected increase in vaccine supply enables the state to open eligibility two weeks ahead of a May 1 target set by President Joe Biden.

Also, Inslee said he hopes full eligibility will help tamp down a disturbing trend of rising cases. He echoed warnings from public health officials across the state who say a recent climb could foreshadow a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections.

In recent days, the governor had resisted calls to expand eligibility faster, even after a majority of other states did so. Washington now joins California with an April 15 date.

Roughly 5 million Washington residents were eligible for a vaccine as of March 31.

Of those, 2 million people were allowed to get in line March 31 when the state expanded eligibility to everyone in Phase 1B. That included anyone 60 and older, restaurant staff, construction workers, those in congregate settings such as prisons, and people with two or more health conditions.

That leaves an estimated 1.2 million people. They can get in line in two weeks.

Inslee’s announcement isn’t a surprise.

With Washington receiving an increasing supply of doses from the federal government, the state Department of Health shut down an online tool for figuring out if one is eligible for a shot.

The state expects to get 408,730 total doses this week and roughly 711,000 over the next two weeks. But health officials stress that demand is still outstripping supply. This week providers requested 489,690 doses, they said.

In a related development Wednesday, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12.

In a study of 2,260 U.S. volunteers ages 12 to 15, preliminary data showed there were no cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated adolescents, compared to 18 among those given dummy shots, Pfizer reported. As of March 31, Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for ages 16 and older.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@covingtonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.covingtonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

File photo.
Mysterious in-home deaths of father, two daughters ruled as starvation

Written materials about fasting were found in the home; the father’s death called a suicide.

Dr. Faisal Khan. Courtesy of King County.
Dr. Faisal Khan appointed as next King County health director

Dennis Worsham will continue to serve as interim director until September 6.

Tsr
Renton spa employee accused of trying to coerce woman into prostitution, posing nude

Quyen T. Nguyen, 39, has been accused of attempted promotion of prostitution… Continue reading

Teaser
King County experts discuss extreme heat mitigation plan

The plan includes improving infrastructure and communications to prevent future disasters.

T
Public art call for South King County transit corridor

Deadline is July 13 for artists to apply to have their work in new RapidRide expansion.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterburg (File Photo)
King County Prosecuting Attorney vows to protect reproductive freedom

Dan Satterberg joins over 80 prosecutors from around the country in their pledge.

Teaser
King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Most Read