Governor expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in April


April 3, 2021 — SALEM—In a Friday press briefing with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Gov. Kate Brown announced Oregon is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include not only Group 7, frontline workers, but all family members of frontline workers. She also announced that Oregon is expanding its criteria of underlying health conditions to match the CDC's extended list.

The governor was joined by OHA Director Patrick Allen and State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger.
"As we move into the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to deploy a vaccine strategy that is centered on prioritizing our most vulnerable, and ensuring access to the vaccine for everyone. To do this, we need to move in a manner that is both fast and fair," said Brown.

OHA determines the priority and eligibility criteria for COVID19 vaccination. Lane County Public Health is currently scheduling Lane County residents:

  • Phase 1a, all groups
  • Phase 1b, groups 1-5
  • Phase 1b, group 6. This includes adults 45 to 64 with one or more underlying health conditions; migrant and seasonal farm workers; seafood, agricultural and food processing workers; people living in low-income senior housing, senior congregate and independent living; individuals experiencing houselessness (sheltered and unsheltered); people currently displaced by wildfires; wildland firefighters; and pregnant people 16 and older.
  • Phase 1b, group 7. This includes frontline workers as defined by CDC, including the U.S. Postal Service, food service workers, grocery store workers, journalists, utility workers and more; multigenerational household members; and adults 16 to 44 with one or more underlying health conditions.

According to the governor, “If you are a frontline worker as defined by the CDC, when you make a vaccine appointment for yourself, make them for your whole family, too.”
The governor is also asking Coordinated Care Organizations and commercial health insurance providers to reach out to their members with underlying conditions to share information about the importance of vaccinations, and how to get connected to a vaccine.
In addition, with the recent spring weather, Brown warned of an impending fourth wave of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Oregon has seen an increase in cases and hospitalizations over the past two weeks.

"It’s clear that, in Oregon and across the country, the fourth surge of this virus is at our doorstep,” Brown said. “While Oregon’s case numbers fortunately haven’t matched those of other states seeing large spikes, our numbers are rising and we are back on alert.
"The good news is, now when we face a surge, we know how to protect ourselves and others with powerful safety measures like mask wearing and avoiding large social gatherings.”

She also acknowledged the growing number of vaccinated people, especially with three vaccines now in use in the community.

Oregon has now administered a total of 962,741 first and second doses of Pfizer, 890,157 first and second doses of Moderna and 45,256 single doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

Lane County residents hoping to schedule their vaccine can do so through www.LaneCounty.org/vaxclinics.

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