Washington inching closer to vaccination goal, lifting most COVID-19 restrictions

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington is almost ready to lift most of its COVID-19 restrictions.

As of Tuesday, 67% of people 16 and older in the state have received their first shot. All eyes are on younger people to now get vaccinated and help Washington reach its 70% goal.

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“We need to get as many of them immunized as we can,” Dr. Frank Velazquez of the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) said. “Obviously they’re a significant part of the population, and as we pointed out, it’s a population that’s more mobile and more active socially.”

People younger than 40 account for 55% of Spokane County’s cases in the last two weeks. That’s why SRHD has pushed all sorts of messaging to those age groups, in some cases using social media advertising to reach them.

Each age group is progressing when it comes to vaccinations in Washington.


People older than 65 are leading the way with 80% of them receiving their first dose, compared to 53% of 18-34 year-olds.

“If we do manage to get our 18-29 strongly motivated, we’ll move a lot faster over the next few weeks,” Dr. Velazquez said.

SRHD said mobile clinics and events are now the most effective way to reach the rest of people who aren’t vaccinated in Eastern Washington.

“When you look at immunization history, perhaps we don’t move as quickly, but we’re somewhat steady,” Dr. Velazquez said.

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