PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After President Joe Biden announced he is shaving about two weeks off his May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines, Oregon Governor Kate Brown adjusted Oregon’s own vaccination timeline.
On Tuesday morning, Gov. Brown announced all Oregonians aged 16 and up will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination by April 19. The previous eligibility date was aligned with Biden’s prior May 1 deadline.
“We are locked in a race between vaccine distribution and the spread of variants,” Brown said in a statement. “Today, Oregon will pass the threshold of 2 million vaccine doses administered. And yet, in communities across Oregon, COVID-19 is spreading at concerning rates. We must move as quickly as possible to get more shots in arms. Beginning April 19, all Oregonians over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a vaccine.”
Brown also reiterated her commitment to equity when it comes to vaccine distribution, saying it is critical the state continues to focus on communities of color that have been disproportionately hard-hit by the coronavirus.
“We must reach Oregonians where they are, including those who may not have easy access to health care or the ability to take time off from work,” she said. “Over the next two weeks, we will dedicate all available resources to ensure Oregon’s frontline workers and people with underlying conditions have access to vaccines––two groups in which Oregonians from communities of color are predominantly represented.”
Brown’s office will be working with the White House to ensure Oregon receives an adequate supply of vaccines as we maneuver the remainder of the pandemic.
The latest wave of eligibility in Oregon began on Monday. Phase 1b, Group 7 includes frontline workers, families of frontline workers, multigenerational household members and all Oregonians 16 and up with underlying health conditions.
Oregon is still not getting enough vaccine to handle the demand. Many people are still struggling to find appointment slots.
The slots at the mass vaccination centers for the Oregon Convention Center, the Portland International Airport and Hillsboro Stadium are often filled within 30 minutes. Pharmacies are getting more vaccines, so you may be able to get an appointment through the pharmacy’s website.
If you’re not registered, you can get registered at GetVaccinated.Oregon.gov.
“That’s where in particular Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties large sites will pull names from the Get Vaccinated Oregon list, where people have put in their applications to get an appointment,” said Tricia Mortell, the Washington County public health manager.
Furthermore, the VA Portland Healthcare System announced Monday that it is providing COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone who served in the military, as well as their caregivers, spouses and some other beneficiaries as part of the SAVE LIVES Act, signed into law by President Biden last month.
Keep in mind, the youngest age approved for the vaccine is 16, and only Pfizer so far is approved for 16- and 17-year-olds. Under Oregon law, teens age 16 and up do not need parental permission to get a vaccine shot.