CORONAVIRUS, Health, Oregon

Vaccine timeline accelerated for frontline workers, more

Ansu Drammeh, R.N., a cardiovascular intensive care nurse at OHSU, is given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday, December 16.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced Friday that the timeline of vaccine eligibility for frontline workers, those living in multigenerational households, and those ages 16 and older with certain underlying health conditions would be sped up from April 19 to April 5. 

It’s another announcement that has sped up the original timetables set forth by the Governor and the Oregon Health Authority. As it stands in Washington County — which has declined to opt-in to speeding up the “Phase 1B, Group 6” of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and those aged 45-64 with certain underlying health conditions — today, here is the most current vaccine eligibility schedule coming up.

March 29: Phase 1B, Group 6:

Adults 45-64 with underlying health conditions,

Migrant and seasonal farm workers,

Seafood and agricultural workers,

Food processing workers,

People living in low-income senior housing, senior congregate and independent living,

People experiencing homelessness,

People currently displaced by wildfires,

Wildland firefighters, and

Pregnant people 16 and older.

April 5: Phase 1B, Group 7

Frontline workers as defined by the CDC,

Multigenerational household members, and

Adults 16 and older with underlying health conditions.

May 1: Phase 2

All others age 16 and older.

No vaccine schedule exists for those under 16, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved any vaccine for emergency use for younger residents. 

Oregon’s partial list of frontline workers, courtesy OHA

A full list of frontline workers as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is located online on the CDC website. 

Those looking for more information on eligibility, or who wish to sign up for eligibility notifications from the state can visit or dial 211. 

“As we vaccinate our frontline workers and all Oregonians with underlying health conditions, we will work to make sure vaccines reach the communities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19: Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Tribal and communities of color,” said Governor Brown. “With so many counties across Oregon ready to begin the next phases of vaccination, I am accelerating our vaccination timelines statewide rather than proceeding county-by-county.

“And, with increased supplies, expanding eligibility will allow health care providers and community-based organizations to be more efficient in their efforts to vaccinate hard-to-reach communities.”

During a press conference held late Friday morning, Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen dove into the details of recent vaccine distribution in Oregon. 

“This week Oregon received more than 24,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, plus doses going directly to pharmacies in the federal program, but that amount was approximately 40,000 doses less than we expected,” Allen said. “We still expect to receive sufficient supplies of doses from the federal government to hit the new eligibility timelines Governor Kate Brown just announced.”

According to Allen, 1,073,369 Oregonians have received at least one vaccine dose so far, and more than half a million people have been fully vaccinated either with a two-dose vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The percentage of Oregonians fully vaccinated — 14% — matches the national average, according to Allen and a database maintained by the New York Times. 

In efforts to vaccine seniors, who face some of the most dire health outcomes if they contract COVID-19, Oregon lags behind most states, coming in at number 38. 

“We still have work to do,” Allen said. “But I want to thank every older adult who waited for an appointment for their patience while we worked through a number of different challenges. I’m grateful you made the choice to protect yourself and the people around you by getting vaccinated.”

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

Sign up for Banks area news in your inbox ↓

The groceries your family needs!