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Gov. Inslee announced today that effective April 15, all Washington residents over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Since Washington State began its vaccination program, the Department of Health has followed a tiered eligibility system, beginning with those most at risk of hospitalization and death. The state also prioritized equity in each phase to ensure access to populations disproportionately affected by the virus.
According to the Governor’s office, the expansion of vaccine eligibility comes, in part, in response to a recent uptick in COVID cases statewide.
“We must do everything possible to ensure that we can keep cases down," Inslee said during a press conference Wednesday. "We have concerns about the trends we are seeing across the state and we must be cautious. Opening up full eligibility will be one tool to help in the fight against the virus.”
The community is encouraged to continue following public health guidelines – masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds, etc. – to slow the spread of Covid-19. The upper Snoqualmie Valley is currently experiencing a case uptick. Over the past two weeks North Bend has reported 11 new Covid-19 cases and Snoqualmie has reported 21 new cases.
Washington State Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah stated, “Vaccine is the tool we need to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is pleased everyone age 16 and older will be eligible for vaccine starting April 15, which also marks the four-month anniversary of vaccine rollout in Washington.”
Roughly 3.3 million doses have been administered in Washington to date, and more than one million residents have been fully vaccinated.
Learn more about Covid-19 vaccines and/or schedule a vaccination appointment HERE.