OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) will no longer require proof of vaccine eligibility with Phase Finder, according to a newsletter the department sent out Friday.
Phase Finder is an online questionnaire patients were previously required to take to prove they were eligible for the shot.
Starting on March 31, those getting their vaccine won't have to prove they're eligible under the current phase to qualify. The DOH said they trust most people will continue to do the right thing and wait their turn.
The DOH will instead refer people to Washington's vaccine locator, Vaccinate WA. On the website, people will be able to see if they fall into a qualified group, and they will be able to find providers with available vaccine appointments in their area.
Another website, findacovidshot.org, is a Facebook group dedicated to helping qualified individuals sign up for appointments. They can also be reached by phone at (425) 780-5785 to be connected with one of 75 volunteers.
Removing Phase Finder as a requirement is intended to speed up the vaccination process and reduce barriers for those who wish to get vaccinated, the newsletter reads. The DOH said it sees the importance of getting as many vulnerable community members vaccinated as possible before vaccine eligibility expands to everyone 16 years and older on May 1.
As of March 27, 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)