Oregon deploys National Guard to aid in coronavirus vaccination efforts

Courtesy of Gov. Kate Brown's office

Update at 3:50 p.m. PST on Jan. 8: Gov. Brown’s office issued a correction, noting that Oregon National Guard members will join their efforts on Tuesday. Therefore, the National Guard will not make an impact on Salem Health’s vaccination operations over the weekend. 

SALEM, Ore.  — During a press conference held on the morning of Friday, January 8, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown updated the public on her state’s coronavirus efforts. She announced that the National Guard is being deployed within the state to assist with coronavirus vaccine efforts.

“We continue to look at how we can use every tool we have to swiftly vaccinate Oregonians, and in that spirit, I am deploying the National Guard to provide vaccination support, starting this weekend with Salem Health’s vaccination event at the state fairgrounds,” Gov. Brown said. “These partnerships will help us achieve the critical mass of community immunity we need.”

As part of the update, Gov. Brown expressed a new goal for Oregon: 12,000 vaccinations per day. She noted that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is making steady progress toward achieving it. Gov. Brown aspires to vaccinate 250 Oregonians per hour with the OHA and local healthcare providers assisting in an “all-hands-on-deck effort.”

Reaching this goal will require steady growth as Oregon’s most successful day of vaccinations, December 30, 2020, saw 7,766 people being vaccinated. This metric was drawn from OHA resources.

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While Oregon makes steady progress toward vaccinating its healthcare workers and first responders, Gov. Brown touched on another issue that’s impacting families throughout her state: Education.

Gov. Brown is pushing to re-open schools throughout Oregon for in-person learning.

“Oregon’s COVID-19 health metrics for returning to in-person instruction became advisory, empowering local school districts and communities to make decisions regarding in-person instruction that best meet the needs of their families and students,” Gov. Brown stated. “All Oregon schools will still be required to adhere to health and safety measures in order to open any in-person instruction, and they must continue to work in close consultation with their local public health authority.”

Part of Brown’s commitment has been an emphasis on vaccinating teachers, which greatly reduces the chances of community spread within classrooms.

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