SALEM — Oregon will expand its COVID-19 vaccination efforts to include all Oregonians older than 65, K-12 educators and staff, and child care workers on Jan. 23, according to a press release from Gov. Kate Brown.
The news comes as the U.S. federal government announced it would be releasing its entire reserve of vaccine doses for distribution.
“While this is an unexpected change in course from the federal government, receiving more vaccines is welcome news for states — and Oregon is ready to devote all resources necessary to ramp up distribution with our health care partners,” said the governor. “The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon National Guard have already begun working with hospitals, pharmacies, and local public health partners to ensure Oregon seniors and educators have ready access to a vaccine.”
Brown urged those who would become eligible on Jan. 23 to refrain from calling their health care providers with questions about getting vaccinated, as the news came suddenly and details about distribution are forthcoming.
“Now, more than ever, I am determined to ensure that communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 have access to a vaccine: Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, tribal, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, Pacific Islander, and communities of color,” Brown said. “Reaching educators and individuals aged 65 and older from these communities is absolutely critical, as we strive to achieve equitable vaccine distribution in each phase of this process.”
Additional details are expected to be announced on Friday. Look for more details on COVID-19 vaccination in the Saturday, Jan. 16, edition of The Observer.