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Oregon gives timeline for expanded COVID-19 vaccine distribution in coming weeks

(Update: More details from news conference, new eligibility charts)

Including adults over 45 with underlying conditions, starting March 29

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority officials rolled out plans for expanding COVID-19 vaccination distribution on Friday, as shipments are set to increase in coming weeks and months.

The governor's office also confirmed that despite much frustration by many of those 70 and over seeking vaccine appointments this week, Oregonians 65 and over will be eligible to seek the shots, starting next Monday.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUg7ju5zAgw

Here are the initial details:

Phase 1b, Phase 2 Vaccine Prioritization

Oregon’s Phase 1b prioritization schedule was based on the recommendations of the members of the Vaccine Advisory Committee, with the goal of ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines to those communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, Pacific Islander, and Tribal communities.

The VAC recommended prioritizing Oregonians with underlying conditions and front-line workers for vaccination.

Until March 29, Oregon will continue to vaccinate only Oregon seniors, educators and adults in custody, as required by a recent Oregon court decision, and any individuals eligible in Phase 1a still remaining.

The vaccination of Oregonians for the continuation of Phase 1b will proceed in two waves.

Beginning March 29, the following groups of Oregonians will be eligible for vaccination:

  • Adults age 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions, as defined by the CDC
  • Seasonally impacted front-line workers, such as migrant seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers, and food processing workers
  • Currently displaced victims of the September 2020 wildfires
  • Wildland firefighters
  • People living in low-income and congregate senior housing
  • Individuals experiencing houselessness

No later than May 1, the following groups of Oregonians will be eligible:

  • All other front-line workers, as defined by the CDC
  • Individuals age 16-45 with underlying health conditions
  • Multigenerational household members

No later than June 1, Phase 2 of vaccination will begin with all adults aged 45 to 64. And, no later than July 1, all Oregonians 16 and over will be eligible to receive a vaccine.

Brown noted that Sunday will mark one year since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Oregon. She said there's been “great progress” in recent weeks, as the case counts and hospitalizations have declined and last week’s lowest number of deaths since last summer.

The positive-test rate has remained about 3 percent, which she said is a “promising sign” that people continue to take steps to slow the spread of the virus.

At least one in four seniors 65 and over have had at least one vaccine dose, officials said later Friday (correcting a figure given at the news conference of one in three).

The overall picture “gives us all a reason to breathe a sigh of relief. The finish line is in sight,” Brown said, but “we cannot let up,” and as new variants threaten, “we’re not out of the woods just yet.”

Brown said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Oregon with $220 million to reimburse hospitals, clinics and public health entities that stepped up to vaccinate residents. FEMA staff also will be supporting high-capacity sites in the Portland area, as well as Deschutes County and Salem.

With the expected sharp increases in dose shipments, OHA Director Patrick Allen said "today is a major turning point in the vaccination program” and that the state expects 75 percent of all seniors to be able to be vaccinated by the end of March.

But he also said it depends on the same factors as before, including adequate and consistent doses arriving.

Allen acknowledged that there will be more shortages and frustration for the next couple of weeks, “but the landscape changes dramatically for the better in late March,” when the current receipt of about 100,000 doses received a week will nearly double, “if promised supply surges materialize.”

So far, he said, 14 percent of Oregonians have had at least their first dose, close to the national average, while 7.2 percent are fully vaccinated, ahead of the national average.

“As always, these projections depend on vaccines actually materializing from manufacturers and the federal government,” Allen said. But if those projections hold, “by late this summer, every Oregon adult will have an opportunity to get both doses. The question will be, will enough people take them?”

“We’ve made great progress, but the pandemic isn’t over yet,” Allen said, stressing that the vaccines are “the safest, most effective way” to protect against the virus. “To return to a more normal life, we need a critical mass” to receive the vaccines.

Allen also said the revised statewide system for vaccine appointments is moving to at https://getvaccinated.oregon.gov is "by invitation, so people don't need to feel like they have to win the lottery" to sign up and get a vaccination slot.


News release:

Governor Kate Brown Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Schedule

Next group to begin on March 29, after most eligible seniors have received vaccines

FEMA to support Oregon vaccination efforts with resources and staff

 (Salem, OR) — Today, Governor Kate Brown announced the prioritization for the next groups of Oregonians to be included in Oregon’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution schedule, including Oregonians with underlying health conditions and frontline workers. Additionally, the Governor announced that Oregon will be receiving vaccination support through new federal staff and resources from FEMA.

"By summer, provided supplies from the federal government continue as planned, any Oregonian who wants the vaccine will be eligible to receive it," said Governor Brown. "And while that gives us all a reason to breathe a sigh of relief, 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."

Phase 1b, Phase 2 Vaccine Prioritization

Oregon’s Phase 1b prioritization schedule was based on the recommendations of the members of the Vaccine Advisory Committee, with the goal of ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines to those communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, Pacific Islander, and Tribal communities. The VAC recommended prioritizing Oregonians with underlying conditions and frontline workers for vaccination.

Until March 29, Oregon will continue to vaccinate individuals only Oregon seniors, educators, adults in custody as required by a recent Oregon court decision, and any individuals eligible in Phase 1a still remaining.

The vaccination of Oregonians for the continuation of Phase 1b will proceed in two waves.

Beginning March 29, the following groups of Oregonians will be eligible for vaccination:

  • Adults age 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions as defined by the CDC
  • Seasonally-impacted frontline workers, such as migrant seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers, and food processing workers
  • Currently displaced victims of the September 2020 wildfires
  • Wildland firefighters
  • People living in low-income and congregate senior housing
  • Individuals experiencing houselessness

No later than May 1, the following groups of Oregonians will be eligible:

  • All other frontline workers as defined by the CDC
  • Individuals age 16-45 with underlying health conditions
  • Multigenerational household members

No later than June 1, Phase 2 of vaccination will begin with all adults aged 45 to 64. And, no later than July 1, all Oregonians 16 and over will be eligible to receive a vaccine.

New FEMA Vaccination Support Begins Next Week

Governor Brown also announced today 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 January 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.

Continued Governor Brown: "We are grateful for this assistance, and look forward to the next steps in our vaccine response. Each week, more supply comes online. More Oregonians get vaccinated. We make more progress with each and every day."

Materials from the Oregon Health Authority with more details, including the definitions of underlying health conditions and frontline workers, is available here.

A copy of the Governor's prepared remarks from today's press conference is available here.

A recording of today's live-streamed press conference is available here.

More information on vaccines is available at covidvaccine.oregon.gov.

Author Profile Photo

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. So 65 and over will be eligible next week but there’s not enough available to vaccinate the 70+ this week. I guess she must be expecting a heck of a lot of vaccine next week.

    1. Bottom line she doesn’t care about the seniors over 70 even though the highest death rate has been in this age group priority was given after health care workers and nursing homes who should have been first, but to black, hispanic and indigent groups, next convicts and teachers. This timeline is politically motivated to placate the WOKE crowd. So her latest stupid decision is to add 65 and up although 70 and up were not able to get appointments this week. Bottom line people over 65 who have high risk health conditions should have been a priority after health care workers and nursing homes.

      1. Huh? Priority was given to health care workers and nursing home residents. I don’t have a problem with teachers especially after the high school COVID party episode last week and the kids do need to be back in school. What I don’t understand is why open it up further when you dont have enough vaccine to even come close to cover it. 40,000 eligible in Deschutes Co. on Monday with 2340 vaccines available.

    2. You have to take personal responsibility, be pro-active and aggressive in looking out for yourself. I’m not in in the 70+ group, but I noticed this week when the window opened up on the website, it appeared to be open for several hours before the registration page disappeared. People in the Portland Metro area have a much more difficult time, but in Deschutes County it seems you just need to be on top of things. Come March 29, I’m gonna jump on it until I get my slot.

  2. I like Latino Latina and Latinx. How about just a non gender specific English adjective such as the Latin American community? Instead they use Spanish masculine, Spanish feminine and then a totally new made up word.

  3. Not till May for essential workers? What a bunch of garbage. Yet, we’ll vaccinate the retired who can stay the hell home? Big middle finger to Oregon leadership

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