In a surprise announcement this morning, ReedPop shared a post containing new health and safety policies for PAX West 2021. These policies state that attendees must either show proof of vaccination or provide a negative COVID test in order to get into PAX West. 

The response to the updated policies has been fairly positive, though a number of people have pointed out that a negative COVID test isn’t necessarily a good equivalent to proof of vaccination, with many feeling like West should make it proof of vaccination only. 

PAX West Updates Attendance Policies to Include Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID Test

It’s official, you’ll either need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test in order to attend PAX West 2021 which is scheduled to run from September 3 to September 6 at the Washington State Convention Center. 

At the moment, it’s fairly easy to get vaccinated depending on where you’re located in the United States, with a variety of locations offering vaccination with no appointment required. It’s free to get vaccinated and there are three options available including Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. 

Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines, while Johnson & Johnson is listed on the CDC’s website as a Viral Vector type vaccine. If you’re looking to get vaccinated before PAX West and you plan to get either Pfizer or Moderna, note that you’ll need two shots in order to be considered fully vaccinated. 

For Pfizer recipients, you’ll need to wait 3 weeks or 21 days after your first vaccine to receive the second shot. For Moderna, the wait is a little longer at 4 weeks or 28 days after your first shot.

Additionally, you are not considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after you’ve received your second shot – that includes the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine (2 weeks after your J&J shot is when you're considered fully vaccinated). 

You can read more about this on the CDC website.

If you live in Seattle, Washington and want to know where you can get vaccinated, or you live elsewhere and want to know where in your state vaccines are being offered, here’s a link to the government’s vaccine finder website.

Aside from proof of vaccination, PAX West will also allow attendees entrance to the convention if they provide a negative COVID test. It’s unclear at the moment whether COVID tests will be offered outside of PAX West, or if attendees will need to locate a place that provides COVID testing on their own.

It’s also unclear what the window of time is on proof of a negative COVID test. Is the test required the same day as the convention? Will attendees need to be tested each day they attend, or only once? All of these are questions we have no answers to at the moment.

If you want to know where you can get tested for COVID in the Seattle, Washington area, here’s a link to Seattle’s free COVID-19 testing locations.

And below, we’ve embedded the full update to health and safety guidelines as provided by Kyle Marsden-Kish, Global Gaming Event Director at ReedPop to give you a better idea as to what you can expect at PAX West 2021.


“Throughout the year, the PAX team has been actively working to support a safe environment for our PAX West visitors. We are pleased to announce that, in line with the recommendations of state and local public health authorities, we will be implementing a vaccination or negative COVID-19 test requirement for everyone at PAX West. We appreciate your patience as we worked with our venue and the authorities to create our comprehensive plan.

Prior to entry we will now require proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, each to be verified with a valid, government issued ID. If you have purchased badges and have questions or concerns about this requirement, please reach out to PAX Questions at PAX_Questions@PAXsite.com.

When PAX West 2021 badges were announced, the PAX Team made the decision to communicate what we could commit to at that time, rather than what we were working toward. While we let the community know the health and safety guidelines could evolve, we wanted to get it right and we feel confident that verification of fully vaccination or negative test, along with continued face covering requirements for everyone, will create an environment that promotes the wellbeing of our PAX community.

The PAX team is steadfast in our commitment to health and safety, including reduced capacity and mandatory face coverings to be worn at all times by attendees, exhibitors, staff, and Enforcers. We will continue to evaluate our policies, listen to feedback from the community, follow the guidance of public health officials, and do everything in our power to make PAX West as safe as possible. We will always do what we can to support the global gaming community and the cities PAX calls home.

For those interested in joining us at PAX West 2021, we’re pleased to announce that the currently sold-out 4-day badges will be available again for sale shortly here in a limited capacity.

-Kyle Marsden-Kish, Global Gaming Event Director, ReedPop” 

The response to PAX West allowing people to attend with a negative COVID test alone has been met with frustration from many who feel like PAX West should focus on proof of vaccination on its own. Some have also expressed frustration regarding the added proof of vaccination requirement. 

It’ll be interesting to see how the health and safety guidelines evolve given the current state of COVID-19 and the spread of a more infectious variant happening right now. At the moment, the majority (over 99%) of people dying of COVID-19 are unvaccinated with unvaccinated people making up 97% of COVID hospitalizations.

While we wait to hear more from ReedPop in regards to PAX West 2021, we’re curious to hear your thoughts on the updated health and safety guidelines. Are you happy proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test is required to attend? Are you frustrated at the negative COVID test option?

Let us know on our social media channels including Facebook and Twitter

Related: PAX West to Return In Person This September