Family of frontline workers can get a Covid vaccine in Oregon

Tom McLeod, an EMT with Metro West Ambulance, readies a second dose of the Moderna vaccine at a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Centennial Park in Woodburn, Ore. on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Frontline workers in Oregon should bring their families with them when they get vaccinated against Covid, Gov. Kate Brown said Friday.

Those workers become eligible statewide for a shot on April 5, and are already eligible in a majority of Oregon counties, including Marion. Brown’s announcement means their relatives 16 and older who live in the same household can also get a vaccine.

State health officials said they were expanding vaccination criteria to protect adults from getting and spreading Covid, because Oregon has seen a high number of cases of the virus tied to household transmission.

“We know it’s not easy for everyone to find the time and the transportation to get to a vaccination appointment. If you’re a frontline worker making the effort, bring your family members, and do it all together,” Brown said in a news conference Friday.

Oregon health officials said they would also expand the state’s list of underlying health conditions that qualify adults for a vaccine to align it with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC earlier this week added type 1 diabetes and substance use disorder to its list of qualifying conditions that put people at higher risk for Covid.

All Oregonians 16 and older are scheduled to become eligible for a vaccine May 1.

-Rachel Alexander