Starting April 15, all people in Washington age 16 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
It is exciting to see vaccine eligibility expanding again – as each vaccination brings us one step closer to ending this pandemic. As of this week, nearly 50% of all adults in King County have received at least one vaccine dose.
However, limited vaccine supply continues to be our number one challenge to vaccinating everyone who is eligible and who wants to be vaccinated.
We at Public Health—Seattle & King County acknowledge how frustrating it is that there is not enough vaccine. We are hoping vaccine supply increases early next month. Access will increase as providers in King County receive more doses.
Who is eligible?
Everyone age 16 years and older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination as of April 15. This means approximately 650,000 people will be newly eligible, bringing the total to nearly one million people in King County who are unvaccinated and eligible.
At this time, COVID-19 vaccines are not authorized for children younger than 16 years old. Clinical trials are in process for young children.
Vaccination is available for eligible individuals no matter your insurance status, immigration status, citizenship, place of work, place of residence, or your health condition.
What vaccine options are available for 16– and 17–year–olds?
The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine authorized for people under age 18. The Moderna vaccine can be given to anyone 18 and older (and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is currently on pause, but it also was approved for adults 18 and over).
For 16 and 17-year-olds, make sure the location you choose offers the Pfizer vaccine (see below for information on parental consent).
Some vaccine providers list the type of vaccine available on their online registration sites or can provide that information over the phone. You can also check Washington State’s Vaccine Locator for the type of vaccine available at different sites.
How do I find an appointment?
Vaccine supplies and appointments are currently limited in many locations. There may be delays in scheduling due to high demand. Getting appointments will be easier as providers receive more doses and more high-volume vaccine sites open.
- Option 1: Call your doctor’s office or health care provider to see if they have available vaccination appointments.
- Option 2: Check with your local pharmacies to see if they have available appointments. Just like getting a flu shot at your local pharmacy, many pharmacy chains – including grocery stores – have COVID-19 vaccine appointments available.
- Option 3: Use Washington State’s Vaccine Locator – Vaccinate WA: COVID-19 Vaccine Availability
- Option 4: Visit one of the King County Vaccination Partnership Sites – You can schedule directly at one of these sites. All King County sites are ADA accessible and have language and ASL interpretation available. For the Auburn and Kent sites, registration is prioritized for residents of south King County to ensure equitable access. For more information about these sites, visit kingcounty.gov/vaccine.
- Option 5: Schedule by phone if you need language interpretation or other assistance. For language interpretation, please say your preferred language when connected:
- Call the Washington State COVID-19 Assistance Hotline: Dial 1-800-525-0127 or 1-888-856-5816, then press #. Available Mondays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Tuesdays – Sundays and observed state holidays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Phone support is also available from the Public Health COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977, 8am-7pm. Interpretation is available over the phone.
For additional appointment options for veterans, K-12 school employees, and others, visit Public Health’s Getting Vaccinated in King County page.
What should I bring to my appointment?
- Identification with date of birth: state, tribe, or federal-issued identification. A billing or bank statement with your name and address can also be used. A birth certificate, school ID or school or medical paperwork with name and date of birth can also be used to verify age.
- Wear short sleeves or loose-fitting sleeves that are easy to roll up so that you can get vaccinated in your upper arm.
- Parent or guardian consent: If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may need consent from a parent or guardian to get the vaccine, unless you are legally emancipated. If a parent or guardian will not attend the vaccine appointment with you, check with your vaccine provider about requirements for showing proof of parental/guardian consent or legal emancipation.
How much does the vaccine cost?
There is no cost to you for the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. The vaccine will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance, and the cost of vaccination will be covered for people who are uninsured.
What do I do if I need transportation to get to my vaccine appointment?
If you live in King County and need transportation to your vaccine appointment, there are multiple options, including Find a Ride, King County Metro bus services, and more. For more options, visit kingcounty.gov/vaccine.
Originally published on April 14, 2021.