Commission wants Brown to change COVID vaccine priorities

Coronavirus

'The time to protect our seniors is now'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s decision to vaccinate educators and early learning personnel before seniors continues to draw the ire of different groups, including the governor’s Commission on Senior Services.

The commission wants Brown to reverse her decision and prioritize seniors first because of their risk of dying from COVID-19 — and they pointed that out to her in a letter.

The group said 91% of all COVID deaths in Oregon are people over the age of 60.

“Older Oregonians have suffered enough, particularly out traditionaly marginalized, poor and minority seniors,” the letter read, in part. “The time to protect our seniors is now.”

The commission’s Mary Rita Hurley said, “It’s the CDC recommendations, 45 other states are doing what the CDC recommends. We don’t understand why Oregon is one of 5 states that is not listening to the science.”

The Senate Committee on Health Care also discussed this isuse during their meeting Monday afternoon. Senators said they continue to hear from people upset over Gov. Brown’s decision and asked the Oregon Health Authority why educators were prioritized.

OHA Director Patrick Allen said there are profound health impacts of not having kids in school and said 25% of all those vaccinate to date are over the age of 65.

That’s because long-term care residents were included in the first phase. People over the age of 80 will be able to get vaccinated beginning February 8.

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