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Covid-19 Omicron Virus is expected to spread quickly throughout Oregon in January, with hospitalizations likely to exceed those caused by the Delta variant.  What happens when hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients?   Other patients needing emergency care may need to wait for treatment.

The best way to protect the hospital capacity in your community is to get a booster dose. When Gov. Brown announced the challenge to get an additional one million people in Oregon boosted, 949,749 people had already received a booster dose. Since that announcement on Dec. 17, 96,339 more Oregonians have received a booster.

Who is eligible for a booster?

Everyone age 16 and older is eligible for a booster dose https://govstatus.egov.com/or-oha-booster-covid-19-vaccine

“It appears that individuals who are vaccinated and boosted are very unlikely to get severely ill from Omicron,” said Peter Graven, Ph.D., OHSU healthcare lead data scientist. “We can reduce the upcoming surge in hospitalizations by increasing the number of Oregonians who get vaccinated, get their booster if they’re already vaccinated, wear their mask in indoor public places, and avoid large gatherings.”

Booster doses provide extra protection

• Viruses like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, mutate or change constantly.
• The first vaccine series builds up your immune system to make the antibodies necessary to fight COVID-10. Over time, the immune response weakens.
• A booster dose builds on the initial response and tends to result in higher antibody levels that help people maintain their immunity longer.
• Boosters take about two weeks to bring up the immune response; now is the time to get boosted!

To find a free vaccine or booster at a high-volume clinic, no appointment required, visit https://covidblog.oregon.gov/looking-for-a-covid-19-booster-check-out-these-updated-pop-up-vaccination-sites/

To find a vaccine provider or testing site visit https://getvaccinated.oregon.gov/#/locator

Oregonians continue to do what works to help save lives. But it remains an anxious time for many. Here’s a reminder to try letting go of the things you can’t control about COVID-19 https://covidblog.oregon.gov/social-cards-what-can-i-control-about-covid-19/

By being a Get Vaccinated Oregon (GVO) subscriber, you get messages about testing locations, vaccine clinics and providers in your area. You can also find providers and testing sites near you by using the GVO locator map available here: https://getvaccinated.oregon.gov/#/locator

More than 200,000 people have also signed up to receive Oregon Health Authority’s Coronavirus Update. This email newsletter will keep you current on vaccines, new safety guidelines, emergency preparedness and more. You can sign up at: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/ORDHS/subscriber/new?topic_id=ORDHS_816

If you have not had the opportunity to get vaccinated or have questions, we can help. Text ORCOVID to 898211 (English and Spanish), email ORCOVID@211info.org (language help available), call 211 or 1-866-698-6155, toll free, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including holidays.

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