It’s ‘Vax Day’: Anyone 16 and older can now sign up for a COVID vaccine in Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. — As nationwide vaccine supply increases, Washington is expanding eligibility for anyone 16 and older to sign up for a Covid vaccine. Health officials say the time has come to focus on getting everyone vaccinated.

Health officials have been most concerned about vaccinating senior citizens and critical healthcare workers for the most part. Now, the emphasis is expanding in Washington.

“We no longer will have any artificiality to who is going to be eligible, who is not going to be eligible, and it’s really at this point going to be making sure that we have vaccine access and that the logistics are strong,” said Umair Shah, Washington’s Secretary of Health.

“I think we’re excited. It’s a great step, having vaccines available for an expanded population is just going to help us reduce the spread of Covid,” said Dan Getz, the Chief Medical Officer at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Providence Holy Family Hospital.

Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for anyone under 18, so local providers are hoping to receive more Pfizer vaccines in the upcoming weeks.

“That’s part of the work that we have ahead of us is looking at the different areas and making sure that we can move Pfizer over to these areas so we can immunize the 16 and older,” said David Green, the Director of Pharmacy Operations for Safeway’s Seattle division.

The side effects shouldn’t be any different for minors. Common side effects from the vaccine are: headache, fever, soreness and nausea. All of these should subside in a few days. If you are nervous about  side effects, V-safe is a resource to consider. It gives you a direct line of communication with the CDC where you can tell them about your side effects, and doctors will tell you if you should be concerned. You can learn more and download the V-safe app here.

“I encourage patients, if they have hesitancy, engage in a conversation with their doctor and ask these questions with a doctor who’s much more likely to give them really solid answers,” Getz said. “If they want to do their independent research on vaccines, stick to sites like peer reviewed medical journals.”

If you want to sign up for a vaccine, here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the vaccine locator website.
  2. Type in your zip code.
  3. Sign up for whatever appointment is available closest to you.

Also, if you don’t have internet, you can call (1-800) 525-0127 and an operator will help you get signed up over the phone.