SEATTLE Its an open secret: Some people in Washington state are jumping the line and getting COVID-19 vaccines before their turn.
The states rules on who is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine are strict, but it seems the protocols for enforcing them arent.
We are increasingly hearing from residents who are angered that people who are not eligible for the vaccination, according to the states eligibility plan, are still receiving vaccinations, said Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
Herbold brought this to the attention of public health officials at Tuesdays Public Safety and Human Services Committee meeting.
I know somebody personally who has a healthcare license but isnt a healthcare worker, and who has gotten their first and second vaccine and is under 50, she said.
Patty Hayes, the Director of Seattle-King County Public Health, told the committee that the states eligibility verification is based on honesty.
It is honor system when people go onto PhaseFinder, she said.
The state verifies eligibility using a questionnaire on PhaseFinder, relying on people to be truthful while answering questions.
RELATED: How to use Washington’s PhaseFinder tool to determine your COVID-19 vaccine eligibility
When KING 5 visited the Department of Healths (DOH) mass vaccination site in Wenatchee, we asked what steps are in place to ensure eligibility.
For folks that have any kind of hiccups with IT or some just weirdness, as it happens, we do have the ability to pull them aside and kind of work with them about their appointment and their eligibility right here, said Cory Portner, DOH Wenatchee Mass Vaccination site lead.
The state is walking a fine line in enforcing eligibility without creating roadblocks, according to the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA).
For some of these underserved populations, they have a reasonable fear of authorities and, they might have documentation with immigration issues and we dont want them to be deterred from getting vaccinated,”  said Beth Zborowski, with WSHA. “They may have other reasons that they are just concerned historically about providing information to the state or to healthcare organizations. And we really want to make sure that people feel comfortable getting the vaccine.
Im hoping that the problem is really a small one and I think its a small price to pay for not putting barriers in front of people who really are eligible at this point to getting the vaccine, Zborowski said.
WSHA encourages vaccine providers to ask questions about eligibility, but in a way that’s tactful.
It really is a partnership between the community, as well as all the vaccine locations, just asking those questions and verifying that people are doing what they supposed to be doing, she said. A lot of these clinics are staffed with volunteers doing the data entry, doing actual immunization and to put them in the position of saying, Prove to me that this is your birthdate,’ or that ‘You are indeed a frontline healthcare worker.”  
Many of the people at the vaccine clinics will have to rely on trust, she said.
“Weve really got to have some trust in people, too. I think that puts clinic volunteers in a really awkward position to be kind of doing this enforcement,” she said.I think when you take an approach of having an honor system and saying, you know, we are going to trust that people are going to do the right thing, there are going to be people who arent going to do the right thing.