Under pressure from federal officials, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday that she would allow all Oregonians aged 65 and older to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination from Jan. 23.
In her own accord, Brown also said she would allow preschool and K-12 preschool staff to start vaccination along with a senior group.
Brown’s decision to expand vaccination to older Oregon residents was in response to a stimulus from US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar early in the day that all states began. Immunize Americans 65 years and older and people with an underlying condition that puts them at high risk of being fatal. Complications from COVID-19 Azar said the federal government would no longer seize the second dose of the vaccine before it was shipped – and that would increase the amount of vaccination available to vulnerable new Americans.
Brown does not plan to prioritize Oregon residents on basic terms at the moment, as they are numbered about 1.6 million, Governor Charles Boyle spokesman.
“Right now, there isn’t enough vaccine available for many people,” Boyle said in an email to The Oregonian / OregonLive. Will begin vaccinating Oregon residents with underlying health conditions as more vaccines become available. ”
Brown said there was only one caveat in launching the vaccine to older residents and educators – the federal government would deliver more vaccines as promised. Boyle said he doesn’t know how many more vaccines will be coming to Oregon.
“Although this is an unexpected change from the central government. But getting more vaccines is welcome news for states and Oregon is poised to devote all the resources needed to increase distribution with our healthcare partners, ”Brown said in a written statement. letter
Brown did not offer details on whether Oregon residents would soon be eligible for vaccination. State leaders are still working on the system to get information out.
“If you’re an Oregon native who is recently eligible for vaccination, I urge you to be patient,” Brown continues. “Please don’t call your doctor’s office or healthcare provider if you have questions. About when you can get vaccinated Today’s news arrived without notice from the central government. Oregon healthcare providers are working as quickly as possible to modify their vaccination plans to reflect abruptly changing national guidelines. ”
It is not clear how many residents the new expansion will include. The state currently allows approximately 500,000 Oregon residents to be vaccinated as part of Phase 1a, which largely covers health care workers and long-term care residents. But others are allowed, including jail workers and in prisons and animal care workers.
The governor did not say how many child, preschool and K-12 care workers in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau figures.There are approximately 767,000 people 65 and older in Oregon. The vast majority, around 21,000, are already eligible for Stage 1a as they are in long-term care facilities.
The dramatic increase in the number of eligible vaccines will put a great strain on the over-vaccinated vaccination system in the state. According to the state, the vaccine 115,060 Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have led to a total of 321,425 residents of residents identified by the CDC to have been sent to Oregon. That means roughly 36% of the stock was used, a significant improvement from the 25% used last week.
But vaccination was slower than expected on Dec. 16, when the first vaccine was injected into healthcare workers. Oregon’s debut was plagued by ineffective planning. But government officials said reforms are underway.
During the past week, an average of 7,600 doses was administered each day. The governor is targeting 12,000 people a day by the next week. But acknowledging that accelerating the pace will have to accelerate significantly next week.
Patrick Allen, Oregon Health Directorate Directorate, said 12,000 shots a day and it would be well spent 2022 vaccinating 70 percent of the state’s population – about 3 million people with the system. Seventy percent of the two-dose vaccination is the minimum that some public health experts say is necessary to reach herd immunity, where the virus is seriously prevented from spreading easily throughout the community.
In addition to federal pressure, Brown received harsh criticism from some residents through Tuesday, saying that early studies and K-12 class workers would be vaccinated starting mid-February in As she will No decision has yet been made regarding older Oregon residents.
They are at the highest risk of death from COVID-19 or its life-changing and lasting effects.More than 80% of Americans who die are 65 or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the past week, 85% of the 110 Oregon residents who died from the disease last week were 65 years or older.
The Oregon Education Association, a union representing 44,000 educators, did not push the governor to prioritize educators, union president John Larson said seniors were at a higher risk of losing. Lives more than the educator population as a whole. He also said that although all school staff are vaccinated But he didn’t believe the classroom should be open because there were no students. The vaccine is not yet approved for children under 16 and they can be taken home to families, he said.
“Putting the safety of students and staff at risk so that people can get back together is irresponsible,” Larson said.
Larson, the only educator, said he thought he should have been vaccinated now, who had been pushed back into the classroom in the school district of his choice.
News Tuesday that Brown will soon be opening up vaccinations to older people was celebrated with cheers from older Oregon residents.
This is an evolving story. Check back at OregonLive.com For update
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– Emmy Green; email@example.com; @o_aimee