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Seattle teens line up for COVID-19 vaccines after eligibility expands

More teens are getting their shots after Washington state opened up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people 12 to 15 years old.

SEATTLE — Young teens showed up at clinics across Washington on Thursday to be among the first of their age group to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

State officials cleared the path for eligibility to everyone 12 and older Wednesday night.

Despite the immediate rush to get in line, some pharmacies like Safeway and Albertsons say they aren't sure of the demand for those 12- to 15-year-olds quite yet.

"We certainly are getting demand in the Bellevue area," said David Green, director of pharmacy at Safeway and Albertsons. "And the reason I can say that is we have a clinic set up at one of the Bellevue high schools this weekend. And we completely filled the clinic as of this morning, so we saw quite a bit of demand, which we are expecting at other clinics."

RELATED: Washington state lifting mask mandate for fully vaccinated people

KING 5 spoke to several teens who were among the first to get their shots Thursday, and most said they were looking forward to being able to see family and friends. But also being able to play sports and get back to school safely. 

"We have to take a COVID test every Wednesday for sports, and when we get the vaccine, we won't have to do that anymore," said 15-year-old Nikhil Garg of Woodinville, who got his vaccine Thursday morning. 

Nikhil says most of his friends feel the same excitement towards getting the vaccine to help their lives get back to normal.  

His younger sister, 13-year-old Sarika Garg, said she had mixed emotions. 

"I'm excited and not excited. Like I can go out and feel more safe and stuff, but I'm worried about side effects and like, what if it doesn't work?" said Sarika.

Mom Linh Garg said her kids felt a sense of pride after getting their vaccines.

"Like they are doing their part to help," said Linh. 

Meanwhile, Green advises parents looking to get their kids vaccinated to pick up the phone and call clinics directly if there are any questions about lines, appointments or the vaccine.