Agnes Tsai draws up a dose of the Pfizer vaccine during a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Thursday, Jan. 28. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)
With the federal government increasing the expected supply of Covid vaccine, Oregon public health officials said they’ll accelerate the state’s inoculation plan. As a result, every adult Oregonian will be eligible to get a shot by July 1.
Gov. Kate Brown emphasized inoculating Oregonians against Covid remains the best path for the state to return to more normal life.
“The finish line is in sight and we can’t let up,” Brown said during a news conference.
For the first time, Brown and Oregon Health Authority leaders detailed a timeline for when all Oregonians could expect to receive a vaccine.
Currently, vaccination is open to health care workers, long-term care facility residents and employees, first responders, correctional employees, prison inmates, teachers, child care workers and Oregonians 70 and older. Oregonians 65 to 69 become eligible on Monday, March 1.
Oregonians 45 to 64 with health conditions that put them at higher risk for a serious case of Covid, agricultural and food processing workers and people still displaced from September’s wildfires are among the next groups eligible on March 29.
Other frontline workers, including grocery store employees, would become eligible by May 1, as well as younger Oregonians with underlying health conditions.
The Salem area will see more vaccine doses available the week of March 1. According to data from Oregon Health Authority, 5,850 first vaccine doses are destined for Salem Health’s clinic at the state fairgrounds. Another 3,900 doses will be sent for other locations in Marion County, including Santiam Hospital, Legacy Health Silverton, Woodburn Ambulance and Salud Medical Center.
West Valley Hospital in Dallas will receive 900 first doses for Polk County.
That’s on top of vaccines being shipped directly to local pharmacies by the federal government.
Salem Health on Friday said it had simplified the process for scheduling a vaccination appointment at locations in Salem, Monmouth and Woodburn and is no longer requiring people to have a MyChart account to schedule. Appointments can be made on the Salem Health website, which has information about clinic hours for next week.
Pat Allen, Oregon Health Authority director, said the state expects enough vaccine supply for every Oregonian who wants a shot to receive their first dose of Covid vaccine by August or September.
The eligibility schedule for other Oregonians announced Friday is below.
-People ages 45 to 64 with an underlying health condition that places them at greater risk for a serious case of Covid, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those conditions include cancer, Type 2 diabetes, sickle cell disease and obesity (which is defined by having a body mass index of 30 or above).
-Migrant and seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers and food processing employees
-People currently displaced from Oregon’s September 2020 wildfires
-People living in low-income and congregate senior housing
By May 1
-Other frontline workers as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To qualify, Oregonians must work in a sector included in the federal guidelines and have regular close contact with people from outside their own household. This group includes grocery store, manufacturing, public transit, postal service, higher education, media, public safety and wastewater employees.
-People ages 16 to 45 with an underlying health condition that places them at higher risk for Covid
-People living in multigenerational households
By June 1
All Oregonians 45 to 64 not already eligible
By July 1
All Oregonians 16 and older not already eligible
Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.
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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.