Front-line workers in a wide variety of industries, along with those who live in a multigenerational household and any Oregonian with underlying health complications, will be eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine starting April 5 — two weeks earlier than the original timeline.
Governor Kate Brown made the announcement in a prepared statement Friday, saying it was due to increasing vaccine supplies from the federal government and the progress counties and health care providers have made in vaccinating seniors — who are known to be among the most at risk for serious complications and death.
In the past week, 22 of the state’s 36 counties completed vaccinations for all eligible seniors who requested the shot and had thus been greenlit to begin vaccinating Oregonians in phase 1b, group 6.
That group includes adults between 45 and 64 with underlying health conditions, pregnant people 16 and older, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, seafood, agricultural and food processing workers, homeless people, wildland firefighters and people in low-income senior housing — and is set to become eligible for the shot statewide starting March 29.
The next stage in the state’s vaccine timeline, phase 1b, group 7, includes front-line workers who meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition, people in multigenerational housing and adults between 16 and 44 with underlying health conditions.
They will now become eligible for vaccination on Monday, April 5, two weeks earlier than previously planned. The eligibility date for all Oregonians over the age of 16 to receive the shot remains at May 1 for now, Brown said.
“With so many counties across Oregon ready to begin the next phases of vaccination, I am accelerating our vaccination timelines statewide rather than proceeding county by county,” said Brown.
“And, with increased supplies, expanding eligibility will allow health care providers and community-based organizations to be more efficient in their efforts to vaccinate hard-to-reach communities.”
In other Covid news this week, the state unintentionally sped up the vaccination schedule for more than 10,000 Oregonians who were not yet eligible for the shot, but who received automated invitations to make an appointment anyway.
The error by the Oregon Health Authority involved sending an appointment invitation to 11,000 Oregonians who had registered at getvaccinated.oregon.gov and who were in group 7 — which, at the time, was still not scheduled to become eligible until April 19.
OHA acknowledged the mistake in a March 24 message to subscribers, saying that appointments made before the error was discovered would be honored.
“Our partners at All4Oregon have committed to honoring appointments offered and made as part of our error,” the state health agency said. “We at OHA understand how stressful the last year has been, as well as how eager we all are to get vaccinated. We sincerely apologize for our mistake and the confusion it has caused.”
For more information on the state’s Covid vaccine program, visit covidvaccine.oregon.gov.
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