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caption: Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, right, and Governor Jay Inslee, left, look out over the mass vaccination site at State Fair Park during the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in Yakima, Wash.
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Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, right, and Governor Jay Inslee, left, look out over the mass vaccination site at State Fair Park during the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in Yakima, Wash.
Credit: (Evan Abell/Yakima Herald-Republic via AP, Pool)

Washington's state-run vaccination sites to extend hours to improve access

With Covid vaccine eligibility expanding to everyone age 16 and up starting Thursday, April 15, the hours of operation for state vaccination clinics will extend further into the evening.

The state’s vaccination sites will now be open until 8 p.m. at least twice a week.

Health Secretary Umair Shah said the state made these changes after members of the Latino community said their work schedules make it difficult to get appointments.

“What we really learned was that the hours were a potential barrier for many in our community,” Shah said.

In addition, the FEMA supported site in Yakima is now open until 7 p.m. every day. By April 25, those hours will be extended to 8 p.m.

Shah is encouraging other vaccine providers to offer expanded hours to improve access.

Vaccine supply continues to be a challenge. With the state’s pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccine, many sites are switching to Moderna or Pfizer as alternates.

RELATED: Washington state halts Johnson & Johnson vaccinations amid blood clot investigation

To date, the state has administered more than four million vaccine doses. At least 35% of the population has received at least one dose.