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State ditches Phase Finder, relying on honor system for vaccine appointments

Tape on the floor marks social distancing guidelines at the Seattle Indian Health Board during a Covid-19 vaccination day on March 15, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Starting Wednesday, the state’s Phase Finder online eligibility tool for the COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be required or available. Instead, residents are asked to simply check the state’s vaccine guidelines to make sure they’re eligible before scheduling an appointment.

State Department of Health open to flexibility with mass vaccination sites

For those who are currently eligible to be vaccinated, you can input your zip code into the Vaccine Locator tool to help find an appointment near you.

With the end of Phase Finder, Snohomish County’s mass vaccination sites confirmed that they will no longer be checking eligibility when you go to get your shot.

“Following the state guidance, we will rely on self-attestation from patients that they are currently eligible,” said Snohomish County Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters on Tuesday.

Dr. Spitters says without Phase Finder, doing spot-checks for every person at the mass sites just isn’t practical. He says they’re counting on everyone to use the honor system, follow the rules, and not jump the line by signing up before they’re eligible.

You will still need to make an appointment in advance and bring your ID, as well as proof of your appointment. If it’s a second dose appointment, you should bring proof that you got a first dose.

Washington hospital leaders: Not opening up vaccine eligibility could be fueling rise in cases

The state is also expanding eligibility to Phase 1B, tiers 3 and 4, on March 31. Those tiers include: people 16 years or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions; all people 60 years and older; people, staff, and volunteers in certain congregate living settings, like correctional facilities, group homes for people with disabilities, and settings where people experiencing homelessness live or access services; and high-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings, restaurants, food services, construction and manufacturing. Anyone who was eligible in a previous phase or tier remains eligible.

Due to a directive from President Biden, all U.S. adults should be eligible for the vaccine by May 1. In Washington, that date is not expected to come sooner than May 1, though any additional phases between March 31 and May 1 have not yet officially been set.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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