All Washington residents age 16 and up will be eligible to receive the COV-19 vaccination effective April 15. Washington Governor Jay Inslee made the announcement on March 31.

The state has been following a tiered eligibility system for the first four months of vaccination administration. The first tier to receive the vaccine were those most at risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 complications.

The Washington State Department of Health and the governor have also prioritized equity issues in each eligibility phase to ensure equal access to the vaccine for populations disproportionately affected by the virus such as communities of color and low income communities.

The upcoming expansion in eligibility comes partly in response to a recent uptick in positive Coronavirus cases in the state.

About 3.3 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Washington as of March 31, and more than one million residents have been fully vaccinated.

“If we get vaccinated and continue the health practices that keep those around us healthy – masks, distancing and basic hygiene – we’re going to knock this virus down,” Inslee said during a press conference on March 31. “But we cannot get complacent. We feel like we are done with COVID, but this virus is not done with us yet.”

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