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Washington officials 'hopeful' COVID-19 vaccination rates will allow for early reopening

If more than 70% of those 16 and older receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the state could fully reopen. Vaccinations are currently at nearly 60%.

TACOMA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee said Washington state should be able to fully reopen June 30, or sooner, if more than 70% of those 16 and older receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“DOH is hopeful that we’ll reach the 70% vaccination goal,” said Washington State Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson Julie Grauert on Monday.

According to data from the DOH, last updated May 19, approximately 60% of those 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Those numbers are expected to be updated late Monday, Grauert said.

“We encourage people to continue to get vaccinated and help their friends and loved ones do the same,” said Grauert.

Bob LaBore, 72, received his Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department clinic in Lakewood Monday.

While he qualified for the vaccine months ago, LaBore said since he works full-time as a mover and spends weeks away from home, he felt he never had time to get the shot.

It took him about 30 minutes to become fully vaccinated on Monday. He suggested to others who have been putting it off: get the vaccine.

"I know people that held out that aren’t well at the moment too, so think about it. It’s not going to hurt you. Have faith in the system,” said LaBore.

Health officials said those looking for vaccine locations and times should check the state’s website: https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/