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Vaccine Watch: Hundreds of southern Oregon healthcare professionals sign statement urging community to get vaccinated

As of Thursday evening, 440 doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare workers had signed onto the brief statement asking southern Oregon residents to trust their expertise.

Posted: Sep 2, 2021 5:33 PM
Updated: Sep 2, 2021 5:48 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Hundreds of healthcare professionals have signed onto a brief statement urging members of the southern Oregon community to get the COVID-19 vaccine and trust their counsel. As of Thursday evening, about 445 doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, and other medical staff had signed onto the letter.

The letter is similar to one circulated earlier this week by healthcare workers in Siskiyou County, though considerably more succinct. It reads:

“You trust us to care for you. You trust us to care for your parents and your children. Please trust us when we encourage you to get vaccinated against Covid-19. It is safe, effective, and may save your life or the life of someone you love. We’ve been vaccinated, and hope you will too.”

The project was spearheaded by Dr. Ryan Hungerford, a physician with Southern Oregon Internal Medicine at Rogue Valley Physicians. Hungerford told NewsWatch 12 that he expected about 100 doctors to sign on in support when he started circulating it on Tuesday. Instead, it quickly doubled that number, then quadrupled it.


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Hungerford said that fellow doctors comprise about 90 percent of the names on his statement of vaccination support, with other medical professionals making up the remaining names.

While he initially had humble prospects for the letter, Hungerford now says that he can hardly think of a local doctor not signed onto the list.

The list was not intended to be a petition, and it was neither a response to other initiatives or a position on the vaccination mandates for healthcare workers. Instead, Hungerford said, he just wants people to make a medical decision with medical information, not bias. In his view, many people seem to be making vaccination decisions without the advice of a medical expert, though they may be patients of himself or his colleagues.

"The present health care crisis in our community continues and even worsens, largely due to low vaccination rates, and local physicians are striving to reach out to our community and make an impassioned plea to roll up the sleeve for a covid vaccination," Hungerford said in a statement. "Our hope is that some who may yet still be on the fence might be persuaded knowing that their doctor(s) have also been vaccinated and are encouraging this."

According to data from the Oregon Health Authority, vaccination rates tend to be quite high among healthcare professionals, broadly tracking level of training and experience. Dentists have a vaccination rate of 95 percent, followed by physical therapists with 89 percent, medical doctors at 88 percent, physician assistants and osteopaths at 84 percent, and nurse practitioners at 80 percent.

By comparison, just over 66 percent of Oregon's total adult population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Jackson County has a vaccination rate of 60 percent, and Josephine County is at 54 percent.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
Douglas13375291
Josephine10148244
Yamhill9762143
Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
Benton609738
Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
San Mateo56320629
Monterey52488626
Solano47671357
Santa Barbara47293549
Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
Imperial38477773
Kings35206363
San Luis Obispo31476359
Madera26194311
Shasta26081451
Butte25455314
Santa Cruz22248224
Yolo21558257
Marin18465249
El Dorado18301166
Sutter14571186
Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
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