PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Monday marks a new phase of Oregon’s coronavirus vaccine rollout.
Group 6 in Phase 1b of the state’s rollout can now get vaccinated throughout all of Oregon. This group includes people who are considered at a higher risk for a serious COVID-19 infection, such as people 45 years old or older with underlying health conditions, seasonal farm and agricultural workers, people in low-income senior housing and people experiencing homelessness.
Some counties were given permission to start vaccinating this group last week.
On April 5, employees at grocery stores, in public transit, construction, retail and other frontline workers as defined by the CDC will be able to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. People over age 50 living in multi-generational households, will also be eligible.
This is happening two weeks earlier than originally planned after Governor Kate Brown accelerated the timeline.
This latest update has not changed the timeline for all other Oregonians over the age of 16, who will become eligible for vaccination no later than May 1. However, counties may open to all residents on April 26, based on an application.
“This doesn’t mean every Oregonian will be able to get a shot right away,” Brown said. She said they are still waiting for more information from the White House about when more doses will be arriving.
Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said they are expecting traffic jams when the eligibility first opens up. He said it also depends on the allocation from the federal government.
“I want to be crystal clear. Not every Oregonian will have a vaccination appointment waiting for them. It will take a few weeks for supply to keep up with demand. By the end of May, we will have received enough vaccine to give all adult Oregonians at least their first immunization,” Allen said.
However, doctors say increasing vaccinations — along with decreasing hospitalization rates — is a good indication of Oregon making progress in this pandemic.