OLYMPIA — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered news that more than a million Washingtonians had been waiting for at a Wednesday afternoon news conference: beginning April 15, all Washingtonians age 16 and older will be eligible to receive a covid-19 vaccine.

The new date is earlier than the May 1 date that the state identified weeks earlier for widespread eligibility after a plea from President Joe Biden to states to make the vaccine eligible for everyone by the beginning of May. Inslee estimated that another 1.2 million residents of the state will now be eligible in just two weeks time.

"Many of us are going to have to have continued patience, but I'm so happy about the rate of the vaccination we now are obtaining in the state of Washington, and eventually, we know that everybody's going to have access to get this vaccine," Inslee said.

Inslee said the state was able to bump of the original timeline to mid-April because delivery of the vaccine to the state has sped up in recent weeks.

"We are confident we can take this step because our dosage allocations have increased. We've now had roughly 3.3 million doses administered in our state, and more than 1 million Washingtonians are already fully vaccinated," Inslee said at the news conference.

Another group of Washingtonians became eligible to receive the vaccine on March 31, including those age 60 and older, as well as those 16 and older with two or more comorbidities or underlying health conditions. The Pacific County Health and Human Services Department held a vaccination clinic inside the Ilwaco High School gymnasium on Wednesday, which included some people who were newly eligible.

To sign up for the countywide vaccine waitlist and secure your place in line, visit https://tinyurl.com/2rjnbb4m.

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