SEATTLE — Health officials in Washington state are concerned about older residents still choosing not to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
As of March 29, roughly 27% of Washingtonians 65 and older have not received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the state Department of Health (DOH). Vaccines have been available to residents in that age group for three months.
Gov. Jay Inslee said older residents not wanting or receiving the vaccine is “really disturbing” because the vaccines are effective, and COVID-19 “remains a fatal disease.”
"Basically, we have tens of thousands of people, those over 65, who have not had the vaccine who are really living in the danger zone right now,” Inslee said during a press conference Wednesday. “It is a dangerous situation not to be vaccinated, particularity if you are over 65 today."
As of Tuesday, 84% of people who have died from COVID-19 in Washington state are 65 and older, according to DOH data.
Over 3.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given and reported as of Monday in Washington state. DOH data shows 27.9% of residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 16.9% of residents are fully vaccinated.
Everyone 16 and older in Washington will be eligible for a vaccine starting April 15. The previous eligibility date for those over the age of 16 was May 1.
Anyone who needs assistance scheduling a vaccine appointment can click here or call 1-800-525-0127.