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What you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in Washington Wednesday

Here's what you need to know about COVID-19 vaccines in Washington state on Wednesday, March 24.

All Washington residents 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, state confirms

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. 

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As 'vaccine chasers' seek leftover COVID-19 shots, Washington health officials urge patience

Health officials have been calling for patience, as Washington 'vaccine chasers' have been showing up at COVID-19 vaccine clinics looking for unused doses at the end of the day.

Without an appointment, getting a shot isn’t a guarantee. But the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines quickly expire and must be thrown away if not used within several hours of opening.

With this in mind, some people show up to the clinics without qualifying under the state's current guidelines, hoping that health officials won't want those extra vaccine doses to go to waste.

While officials are happy that people want to get vaccinated, crowding at the vaccine clinics can become a problem, so officials have been urging people to wait their turn.

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Washington's COVID-19 vaccine allocation to increase as eligibility expands

Washington state is expected to get a boost in COVID-19 vaccine shipments next week as 2 million more people become eligible for the shot.

For the week of March 28, Washington is slated to receive 408,730 doses of the vaccine, according to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). While this is still 80,960 doses shy of what the state requested, it is an improvement over this week’s allocation – an increase of nearly 50,000 doses.

Of the state’s allocation, 221,130 doses are Pfizer, 144,800 doses are Moderna and 42,800 doses are the single-shot Johnson & Johnson.

After next week, Washington does not have a forecast for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but a DOH spokesperson said that was subject to change.

Starting March 31, Washington will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include anyone 60 and older, people with two or more comorbidities, people living in congregate settings and workers in congregate settings, including restaurants, construction and manufacturing.

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27M COVID vaccine doses to be shipped next week, White House says

The White House says 27 million doses of coronavirus vaccines will be distributed next week, more than three times the number when President Joe Biden took office just over two months ago.

Coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients informed governors on their weekly conference call that 23 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna and about 4 million of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine will be shipped next week.

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US: AstraZeneca may have used outdated info in vaccine trial

Results from a U.S. trial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine may have included “outdated information” and that could mean the company provided an incomplete view of efficacy data, American federal health officials said early Tuesday.

AstraZeneca said in a statement that the data it released Monday included cases up to Feb. 17, as the study rules specified, and that it was continuing to analyze cases that have occurred since then. The company said that a preliminary analysis of data that has continued to roll in was consistent with what it had already reported. It promised an update within 48 hours.

AstraZeneca reported Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection among adults of all ages in a long-anticipated U.S. study, a finding that some experts hoped would help rebuild public confidence in the shot around the world and move it a step closer to clearance in the U.S.

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Washington's biggest businesses join forces to help with vaccine rollout

A coalition of companies, some of Washington’s biggest businesses, are helping the state speed up the rollout of COVID vaccines.

Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco, Amazon, and several others are lending experts, some full-time, to the effort.

“We weren't looking for publicity. We asked for nothing from the state,” said former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, CEO of Challenge Seattle, the alliance of businesses. “These companies really believe this is a humanitarian effort.”

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How to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released an online portal to check your eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. Use the Phase Finder tool to input personal information like age, health conditions and essential worker status to determine if it's your turn.

As of March 17, Washington is in Phase 1B, tier 2 of vaccination. Eligible people include:

  • High-risk health care workers and first responders
  • Long-term care residents
  • People 65 years old and older
  • People 50 years old and older in multigenerational households
  • Teachers, school staff and childcare workers
  • Employees in certain congregate settings, such as grocery stores, agriculture, corrections, transit and law enforcement
  • People age 16 years and older who are pregnant
  • People age 16 and older who have a disability that puts them at high risk 

If you are eligible, find a list of vaccine providers on the DOH website and information on how to make an appointment. 

LIST: Mass COVID-19 vaccine sites in western Washington

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