SEATTLE — State officials have confirmed that everyone 16 and older in Washington state can get in line for a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1.
The state Department of Health has accelerated its tiered approach to vaccine eligibility after President Joe Biden earlier this month directed states to make the vaccine available to all adults nationwide by then.
Tara Lee, Executive Director of Communications for the Office of Gov. Jay Inslee, said in a statement, "Our vaccine strategy is working to get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible. Right now 3 million Washingtonians are eligible, which is half of Washingtonians over the age of 16 who will all eventually be eligible. One week from today, another 2 million people become eligible, and on or before May 1 the final 1.2 million will be eligible. So, yes we will meet the May 1st directive set out by the president."
As of March 17, Washington is in Tier 2 of Phase 1B, which expanded vaccine eligibility to critical workers in certain congregate settings, such as grocery stores, transit and law enforcement. Anyone 16 or older who is pregnant is also eligible.
On March 31, another two million in Washington will become eligible. Vaccine appointments will open for:
- Anyone with two or more diseases or medical conditions
- Anyone 60 and older
- Anyone living in congregate settings (correctional facilities, group homes for those with disabilities, those experiencing homelessness, etc.)
- Additional workers in congregate settings (restaurants, manufacturing, construction)