Government Kate Brown visited Salem Health’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Wednesday.
Brown watched National Guard member Juan Carlos Rojas of Salem giving Pfizer vaccines to Jason Mayberry, who lives in Portland and works in Salem.
In a short statement, Brown said she hoped similar clinics could be replicated in other large Oregon cities.
“Salem Health is short-lived. They can vaccinate anywhere from hundreds to 3,000 people a day. It̵7;s a really unusual effort,” Brown said.
Brown has enabled 40 security guards to help the clinic from Tuesday.
Cheryl Wolfe, Salem’s president of health, said the hospital has provided 11,000 vaccines since the clinic opened last week.
“Our plan will remain open until Oregon is vaccinated,” Wolfe said.
On Tuesday, Brown announced that the state would soon be making vaccines available to all people 65 and older, according to new federal recommendations.
Vaccines were limited to health care workers and long-term residents, with teachers and school staff next to it.
Federal recommendations also call for the vaccine to be given to people ages 18 to 65 with health conditions that could make them more susceptible to COVID-19, but Oregon has not included that population, Brown said. On wednesday
The state now receives about 50,000 vaccines a week, while about 800,000 Oregon residents aged 65 or older are school officials, she said.
“We’ll work hard and get them vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible. Then we’ll include Oregon residents between the ages of 65 and 18 in a swimming pool,” Brown said.
Brown spokesman Charles Boyle later said about 1.6 million Oregon residents could be counted as having an underlying health condition.
“Right now there isn’t enough vaccine available for many. Instead, we will work with stakeholders to develop outreach and distribution plans so that we can be ready to begin vaccinating Oregon residents with more basic health conditions as vaccines become available. ” Boyle said.
Brown completed her visit by talking to nurses and National Guard members vaccinating patients at the clinic.
–Tracy Loew / The Salem Statesman Journal