SALEM, Ore. — With the last group of Oregon seniors set to become eligible for the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, state officials are looking ahead to the next groups prioritized to receive the vaccine.
Up until early Friday, the state's still-evolving vaccine plan did not detail groups beyond the eligibility of seniors 65 and older, effective March 1. A representative for Governor Kate Brown's office released preliminary details on the next steps ahead of a virtual press conference planned for 11 a.m. on Friday.
The next phases were developed with recommendations from the state's Vaccine Advisory Committee, "with the goal of ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines to those communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, Pacific Islander, and Tribal communities," Brown's office said.
The VAC recommended that Oregon prioritize people with underlying conditions and frontline workers.
"Until March 29, Oregon will continue to vaccinate individuals only Oregon seniors, educators, adults in custody as required by a recent Oregon court decision, and any individuals eligible in Phase 1a still remaining," said Liz Merah, press secretary for Governor Brown.
The vaccination of Oregonians for the continuation of Phase 1b is set to proceed in two waves.
Beginning March 29, the following groups of Oregonians will be eligible for vaccination:
- Adults age 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions as defined by the CDC
- Seasonally-impacted frontline workers, such as migrant seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers, and food processing workers
- Currently displaced victims of the September 2020 wildfires
- Wildland firefighters
- People living in low-income and congregate senior housing
- Individuals experiencing houselessness
No later than May 1, the following groups of Oregonians will be eligible:
- All other frontline workers as defined by the CDC
- Individuals age 16-45 with underlying health conditions
- Multigenerational household members
No later than June 1, Phase 2 of vaccination will begin with all adults aged 45 to 64. And, no later than July 1, all Oregonians 16 and over will be eligible to receive a vaccine.
"By summer, provided supplies from the federal government continue as planned, any Oregonian who wants the vaccine will be eligible to receive it," said Governor Brown. "And while that gives us all a reason to breathe a sigh of relief, it should also serve as a reminder that the finish line is in sight, and we cannot let up.
"New variants of this virus still threaten our communities. While infection rates continue to plummet here in Oregon and across the country, we’re not out of the woods just yet. We must continue to make smart choices around the safety measures we know work: keep wearing your masks, physical distancing and limiting social gatherings."
This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.