Covid Vaccine to be Available to All by Summer, State Says

By summer, any Oregonian who wants the Covid-19 vaccine will be able to get one — provided supplies from the federal government continue as planned — the governor announced Friday.

The next stage of vaccine eligibility will begin March 29, with Oregonians age 45 to 64 who also have underlying conditions (as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) becoming eligible to receive the immunization.

Other Oregonians who will become newly eligible that day include seasonally impacted front-line workers (such as migrant farmworkers, seafood and agricultural workers, and food processing workers), displaced victims of the September 2020 wildfires, wildland firefighters, people living in low-income and congregate senior housing, and the homeless.

Oregon expects to begin vaccinating all adults age 45 to 64 no later than June 1, and all Oregonians 16 and older starting by July 1 at the latest.

Until March 29, the state will continue to vaccinate only Oregon seniors, educators, adults in custody and any individuals still remaining in Phase 1a — which includes front-line health care workers, first responders and residents and staff at long-term care facilities.

While the new vaccine schedule “gives us all a reason to breathe a sigh of relief,” Governor Kate Brown said Friday, “it should also serve as a reminder that the finish line is in sight, and we cannot let up.

“New variants of this virus still threaten our communities. While infection rates continue to plummet here in Oregon and across the country, we’re not out of the woods just yet. We must continue to make smart choices around the safety measures we know work: keep wearing your masks, physical distancing and limiting social gatherings.”

Governor Brown also announced on Friday that Oregon has secured access to $220 million to reimburse hospitals, clinics, local public health partners, and other organizations for the costs of their vaccination efforts, from Jan. 21 to April 21.

In addition, FEMA staff will be supporting the Oregon Convention Center, Portland International Airport and Hillsboro Stadium, starting with 20 staff next week. They will also be working with sites at the Deschutes and Salem fairgrounds. FEMA will be working with Oregon to develop long-term, sustainable solutions to support and relieve hospital staff and frontline health care workers.

“Each week, more supply comes online,” Governor Brown said of the state’s vaccine stores. “More Oregonians get vaccinated. We make more progress with each and every day.”

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