New eligibility groups and FEMA support for vaccination announced
Governor Kate Brown was joined by OHA Director Patrick Allen and Public Health Director Rachel Banks in today’s press conference on COVID-19 vaccination. The Governor announced plans to vaccinate new eligibility groups including frontline workers and people with underlying health conditions, in the coming weeks.
“By summer, provided supplies from the federal government continue as planned, any Oregonian who wants the vaccine will be eligible to receive it,” said Governor Brown. “And while that gives us all a reason to breathe a sigh of relief, it should also serve as a reminder that the finish line is in sight, and we cannot let up.”
Governor Brown also announced that FEMA will be supporting vaccination clinics and helping to develop long-term, sustainable solutions to support and relieve hospital staff and frontline health care workers.
Director Allen spoke of what the next few weeks may hold for those eligible for the vaccine. The state still has fewer doses than needed for those who are eligible. The shortage will continue to for the next week or two.
This means that appointments will be hard to get, many seniors still won’t get a vaccine right away, and many people will be frustrated and unhappy.
Things will begin to look better in mid-March. We should receive 1.4 million cumulative first doses the week of March 21st, more than the 1.3 million people currently eligible. These projections depend on vaccines arriving in Oregon from manufacturers and the federal government.
Adults 65 and older eligible for vaccine Monday; more groups in the coming weeks
We are entering a stage of the pandemic that is both exciting and difficult at the same time. We are seeing an overall decrease in cases, deaths and hospitalizations. This decrease and the first waves of vaccination add hope that our lives will someday look different.
Starting March 1, we begin vaccinating people who are 65 and older. As the federal government is increasing the production of the available vaccines, Oregon will be able to add the last group of people in Phase 1B no later than March 29. See the capture below for more details or view all eligible populations here.
Right now, vaccines are being offered across the state in many different locations, such as county public health clinics, hospitals and large event venues. While the vaccine supply is growing rapidly, supplies and the infrastructure to vaccinate are unable to fully keep up with the demand for vaccines. As supply increases, you may be able to take the vaccine at other locations like your local pharmacy.
It will take time for everyone who wants to be vaccinated to move through the process. We are doing our best to make this new phase of the rollout smooth. We realize waiting can be frustrating and are grateful for your patience.