Vaccine eligibility expands on Monday
All Oregonians 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination starting on Monday, April 19.
The eligibility expansion will happen the day after the Oregon Health Authority reported 628 new cases and no new deaths related to the virus.
Officials predict the expansion will lead to an increase in demand that will leave many Oregonians frustrated over limited appointment options. Health authority Director Pat Allen said vaccine capacity is increasing, but supply is still a concern, especially because of the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It has been in limbo since the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration said last week they needed more evidence to decide if a handful of unusual blood clots were linked to the shot — and if so, how big the risk is.
Allen said that as a result, Oregon will be receiving 70,000 fewer vaccine doses for the next few weeks.
"We'll continue to see tight appointment availability for many parts of the state in the coming weeks," Allen said Friday. "There will still be enough doses for everyone to get one, though."
Nearly a quarter of all Oregonians are fully vaccinated, including about 75% of all seniors.
The latest weekly report showed a third consecutive week of surging cases, higher hospitalizations and higher deaths than the previous week. Between April 5 and 11, Oregon saw 3,722 new cases representing a 26% increase from the week before as well as 47 new COVID-19-related deaths — the highest weekly total in five weeks.
The new cases reported on April 18 brings the state total to 175,121. They were reported in the following counties: Baker (2), Clackamas (72), Clatsop (4), Columbia (7), Coos (7), Crook (2), Curry (2), Deschutes (47), Douglas (4), Grant (6), Harney (1), Hood River (1), Jackson (20), Jefferson (6), Josephine (9), Klamath (37), Lane (39), Lincoln (4), Linn (16), Malheur (1), Marion (83), Multnomah (142), Polk (11), Tillamook (1), Union (5), Wasco (2), Washington (83) and Yamhill (14).
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story.
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