In the wake of ever-increasing supplies of new doses pouring into the state, Oregon announced it is moving up its vaccine rollout another two weeks — making all Oregonians 17 or older eligible to be inoculated starting April 19.
In a statement released early Tuesday morning, Governor Kate Brown reiterated a statement she’d made in a press conference Friday, saying the state is “locked in a race between vaccine distribution and the rapid spread of Covid-19 variants.
Brown said the state would on Tuesday pass the milestone of 2 million doses administered. Since most the vaccines in use require two shots, that’s enough to have immunized almost 40% of the adult population.
“And yet, in communities across Oregon, Covid-19 is spreading at concerning rates,” Brown cautioned. “We must move as quickly as possible to get more shots in arms. Beginning April 19, all Oregonians over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a vaccine.”
The proclamation followed on the heels of earlier news that President Joe Biden was shaving about two weeks off his own deadline of when all states must make the coronavirus vaccine available to every adult who wants it.
The governor pressed that officials must continue to focus on equity in vaccine distribution efforts, with Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal and communities of color among those that have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.
“We must reach Oregonians where they are, including those who may not have easy access to health care or the ability to take time off from work,” Brown said.
Between Monday and April 19, the vaccine effort will be focused on vaccinating Oregon’s front-line essential workers and people with underlying conditions — two groups in which minority groups such are predominantly represented.
“My office will work closely with the White House to ensure Oregon receives our fair share of federal vaccine supplies, so we can continue with a fast, fair, and equitable vaccine distribution process,” Brown said.
The governor added that her office and the Oregon Health Authority plan to announce adjustments to county risk levels later Tuesday.
Clackamas County is expected to be placed on a two-week watch period, after crossing the threshold of 100 new cases per 100,000 residents in the last reporting period that ended March 27.
Those interested in taking the vaccine may also register with the state at getvaccinated.oregon.gov to be notified of appointments when they are available for your eligibility group.
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