GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Josephine County has received approval from state officials to expand vaccine eligibility a few days ahead of the primary date on Oregon's timeline, allowing providers to begin vaccinating older adults with underlying conditions and other groups.
Oregon's latest timeline makes Phase 1b, Group 6 eligible on March 29, but officials allowed for counties to apply for the expansion as early as March 22. Josephine and Klamath County are now among 20 in the state to apply and be approved for the early roll-out.
In order to proceed, counties needed to attest that they have largely completed vaccinating people 65 and older. Jackson County indicated earlier this week that it had vaccinated just over half of its seniors, and would not pursue early expansion of eligibility.
For counties that have received approval to move ahead, the following people are now eligible:
- Adults ages 45 to 64 with one or more underlying condition with increased risk
- Migrant and seasonal farm workers
- Seafood and agricultural workers
- Food processing workers
- People living in low-income, senior congregate and independent living facilities
- Sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing houselessness
- People displaced by wildfires
- Wildland firefighters
- Pregnant individuals 16 and older
"Please note that this move expands the list of eligible individuals in Josephine County — those in previous phases or groups are still eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine," Josephine County Public Health said in a statement.
As of this week. Josephine County is still using an online appointment request form as the most central means for obtaining a scheduled appointment. After completing the form, a local provider is supposed to contact those who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine.
"Those who are not currently eligible will have their information saved and will be contacted as eligibility criteria expand," officials continued. "Because of the anticipated high volume of requests, Public Health cannot guarantee a timeline for a response. Those interested will be referred to a provider in their area and contacted in the order their submission is received."
Grants Pass Clinic and Southgate Cinema have also teamed up for several upcoming vaccination events, and appointments can be made by phone.