All Washingtonians 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID vaccine April 15

OLYMPIA, Wash. — All Washingtonians 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 15.

Governor Jay Inslee made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, on the heels of several other states, like Idaho, doing the same. Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced all American adults will be eligible starting May 1.

Inslee said the state is choosing to open up vaccine eligibility because of a “disturbing” trend of rising cases in many parts of the state. The hope is that as more people get vaccinated, they will have a better defense in keeping COVID cases down.

“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. “But we cannot get complacent. We feel like we are done with COVID, but this virus is not done with us yet.”

As eligibility expands, the federal government is also expected to increase the state’s allocation. The Washington State Department of Health previously set a goal of administering 45,000 doses per day and in the past week, has exceeded that goal by nearly 14,000 doses.

The latest data shows 17.9 percent of Washingtonians are fully vaccinated and 29.8 percent have been given at least one dose.

RELATED: Idaho Public Health North Central District opens vaccine eligibility to anyone age 16 or older 

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