Frontline workers, others eligible for vaccinations
More Oregonians are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including frontline workers and members of their families.
Gov. Kate Brown expanded the eligibility to those in Phase 1b, Group 7 last week. They became eligible on Monday, April 5.
Those now eligible include:
• Frontline workers as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• Families of frontline workers.
• Multigenerational household members.
• Adults 16 and older with underlying health conditions.
Those receiving their first shots will be scheduled for a second appointment at that time. The shots are free, but insurance may be billed to help cover the cost of administering the shot.
This latest eligibility wave comes as COVID-19 cases in Oregon continue to climb. Brown warned that a fourth surge is at the doorstep.
"Make no mistake, this is a race between the vaccines and the variants. It's a critical moment for us all to double down to outrun this next wave," she said.
State Health Officer and State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger also expressed concern about the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the state.
"We are seeing lately an increase in daily cases and a corresponding uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations," he said. "For the month of March, hospitalizations have increased by 17%. Our rolling seven-day average has increased by 22%, to 392 daily cases, as of April 1."
As many as 30,000 vaccine doses are being administered each day in Oregon. The state aims to open vaccine eligibility to everyone by May 1, but vaccine delivery delays may cause longer wait times.
Last Monday, Group 6 in Phase 1b of Oregon's vaccine rollout plan became eligible for the shot. This group included people who are considered at a higher risk for a serious COVID-19 infection, such as people 45 or older with underlying health conditions, seasonal farm and agricultural workers, people in low-income senior housing and houseless people.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.
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