Getting vaccinated in Oregon? Gov. Brown says to bring the family!

Oregon Governor expands eligibility for frontline workers' families
Oregon Governor Kate Brown Press Conference 04 02 21

SALEM, Oreg. — Coronavirus cases are on the rise once again in Oregon, and health officials demand for the vaccine — Especially among adults over 65 — is leveling off.  That’s raising concern about mutated forms of the virus that causes COVID-19.

“It’s clear that in Oregon, and across the country, the fourth surge of this virus is at our doorstep,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said in a press conference Friday.  While she did not announce expanded lockdown measures today, Brown says the state is racing to get vaccine doses to communities across the state, to try and get ahead of those mutated, or “variant” forms of the virus.

“Make no mistake: this is a race between the vaccines and the variants,” Brown says. “It’s a critical moment for us all to double down so we can outrun this next wave.”

While 70% of Oregon’s senior citizens have been vaccinated, Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen says he’s concerned that demand for the shots has “flatlined” among people over 65.

“Throughout March we were on track to vaccinate more than three in four seniors by early April,” Allen says. “Then senior vaccinations slowed. Not because older adults couldn’t find appointments; not because Oregon vaccination sites couldn’t handle demand; and not because other people with underlying health conditions or other eligible groups crowded them out. It’s because demand for vaccines is softening among some seniors.”

Allen says in some areas, including Morrow and Umatilla counties, more seniors have chosen to wait for their shots than have actually signed up for the vaccine!

Vaccination Trends Among Oregon Senior Citizens As Of April 2 2021

CORONAVIRUS HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP-KVEW NEWS STAFF:

Health officials say if you’re eligible for the vaccine, you should sign up and get the shot as soon as you can, in order to help the entire state get back to normal.

“Vaccines give older adults the freedom to see friends and family, attend in-person worship services, go out for a meal, or make other choices about your life with less burden and worry,” Allen says, pointing out that there’s a one in five chance that anyone over 80 years old will die if they come down with COVID-19.

On Monday, April 5th, all frontline workers and younger people with underlying health conditions will be eligible to get the vaccine in Oregon.  Today Governor Brown announced that family members living with frontline workers will also become eligible for the vaccine.

“We know it’s not easy for everyone to find the time and the transportation to get to a vaccination appointment. If you’re a frontline worker making the effort, bring your family members and do it all together.”

Oregon is following the CDC’s definitions for frontline workers and people with underlying conditions. You can see the list here.

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RELATED: Washington DOH announces positive COVID-19 results from vaccinated individuals