Vaccine eligibility open to all residents ages 16 and over
from Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer
Starting Thursday, April 15, all Washington residents age 16 and up are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. This is great news and an important step in ending this pandemic.
Vaccine remains the best tool we have against COVID-19. Already half of King County residents ages 16 and older have received at least one dose and more than 30% are fully vaccinated. This is in part due to the crucial role played by a wide array of community and faith-based organizations who delivered those vaccines and the exceptional work of our public health professionals, partners, and volunteers.
Yet COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising rapidly in King County, especially within the younger adult populations, raising the possibility of a damaging fourth wave. We can’t predict how big this surge will be, how long it will last, or exactly how much harm it will cause.
That is why it is so important that we get vaccinated. With this opening of eligibility there will continue to be challenges with vaccine supply in the short-term, but we do expect the supply to increase in the coming weeks.
Finding an appointment initially may be difficult, but please remember that there are several ways you can make an appointment for the vaccine:
- Go to vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov to search for COVID-19 vaccine appointments near you by zip code.
- WA COVID Vaccine Finder covidwa.com is a volunteer-driven effort to help Washingtonians find appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine
- Call your doctor’s office or health care provider to see if they have available vaccination appointments.
- Whether you’re a Kaiser Permanente member or not, King County employees can follow these steps to get a COVID-19 vaccine with Kaiser Permanente.
- For language interpretation, call the Washington state COVID-19 Assistance Hotline: Dial 1-800-525-0127 or 1-888-856-5816, then press #. Available Monday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Tuesday to Sunday and observed state holidays 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For language interpretation, state your preferred language when you are connected. Phone support is also available from the Public Health COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- If you live in South or East King County, check out additional options at kingcounty.gov/vaccine for the Kent, Auburn, and Redmond vaccination partnership sites.
- Sign up for the City of Seattle’s vaccination appointment notification list to be notified when appointments become available at any of the four city-affiliated vaccination clinics. You can also call 206-684-2489 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday through Saturday for sign-up assistance. The sites are Lumen Field Event Center (330 South Royal Brougham Way), North Seattle College Community Vaccination Hub (9600 College Way North), Rainier Beach Community Vaccination Hub, 8702 Seward Park Ave. S., and West Seattle Community Vaccination Hub (2801 S.W. Thistle St).
I recognize that you may have questions or concerns about receiving the vaccine, and I encourage you to turn to trusted sources to talk through your questions. Our colleagues in Public Health have put together a wealth of flyers, videos, and other materials—many of them tailored for BIPOC communities and translated into several languages—to help you learn more and spread the word about COVID-19 vaccination in your community.
Vaccination ultimately will bring this pandemic under control, and the impact of COVID-19 will decrease as more people are protected through vaccination. Until then, we must remain committed to our proven prevention strategies:
- Wear a well-made, snug fitting face mask and maintain physical distancing
- Limit activities with unvaccinated people from outside your home
- Avoid crowded indoor spaces
- Improve ventilation in workplaces, businesses, and homes, including opening doors and windows when you can
- Stay home from work and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or were exposed to someone who has tested positive – testing is free at any of the King County and Seattle sites.
Please continue to take care of yourself and one another.