PORTLAND, Ore. — All Oregonians over the age of 16 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
On April 6, when Gov. Kate Brown announced that the eligibility date for people 16 and older in Oregon would move up from May 1 to April 19, she said the state must "move as quickly as possible" to vaccinate everyone as cases of the virus rise.
"We are locked in a race between vaccine distribution and the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants," Brown said. "In communities across Oregon, COVID-19 is spreading at concerning rates. We must move as quickly as possible to get more shots in arms."
Over the last seven days, vaccination efforts around Oregon gave shots to an average of 35,522 people per day. That number is sure to tumble soon as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause is felt from fewer doses shipped to the state. This week none are being shipped to Oregon.
Oregon is experiencing a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. A month ago, the state reported 1,920 new cases for the week of March 15-21. The most recent report, for the week of April 5-11, saw 3,722 new cases, a 94% increase.
The rise in cases comes as Oregon reaches a positive milestone: 1 million people fully vaccinated in the state. As of Monday morning, 1,020,399 people have been fully vaccinated in Oregon. OHA reports that more than 38,000 people a day are getting COVID vaccine doses across the state. But cases continue to rise and Brown said the best way for people to protect themselves is by getting the vaccine.
About 1,884,000 people who are eligible in Oregon have not received at least one shot.
During Friday's briefing with state health leaders, Brown urged everyone to get a COVID shot as soon as they can.
"Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself from serious illness and death," she said. "They are the best way to protect yourself from variants, and they are the key to unlocking the restrictions this pandemic has forced on us."