(Salem, OR) — Following today’s (January 12, 2021) updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Governor Kate Brown announced that Oregon will be expanding COVID-19 vaccination to include all individuals age 65 and older. In addition, the federal government announced it would be releasing its full reserve of vaccines available to states, rather than holding some doses in storage. Vaccination of Oregon seniors––as well as child care providers and early learning and K-12 educators and staff––will start on January 23, when additional vaccine shipments are expected to begin arriving from the federal government.
“While this is an unexpected change in course from the federal government, receiving more vaccines is welcome news for states — and Oregon is ready to devote all resources necessary to ramp up distribution with our health care partners,” said Governor Brown. “The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon National Guard have already begun working with hospitals, pharmacies, and local public health partners to ensure Oregon seniors and educators have ready access to a vaccine. We will be detailing plans on Friday for the rapid deployment of vaccines to health care providers and mass vaccination sites across Oregon.
“If you are an Oregonian who is newly eligible for vaccination, I am asking for your patience. Please, do not call your doctor’s office or health care provider with questions about when you can be vaccinated. Today’s news arrived with no advance notice from the federal government. Oregon health care providers are working as fast as humanly possible to shift their vaccine distribution plans to meet this sudden change in national guidance.
“Now, more than ever, I am determined to ensure that communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 have access to a vaccine: Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, tribal, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, Pacific Islander, and communities of color. Reaching educators and individuals aged 65 and older from these communities is absolutely critical, as we strive to achieve equitable vaccine distribution in each phase of this process.”
The Governor and the Oregon Health Authority will provide more details on Oregon’s distribution plans for seniors and educators, as well as how Oregon will continue to reach those populations most vulnerable to COVID-19, on Friday.