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Gov. Brown admits Oregon not vaccinating people fast enough, challenges OHA to 12,000 shots per day

Brown called on the Oregon Health Authority to ramp up efforts and vaccinate at a rate of 12,000 shots per day by the end of the next two weeks.

PORTLAND, Ore. — In a statement issued late Monday afternoon, Gov. Kate Brown admitted Oregon needs to be getting more people vaccinated for COVID-19.

The vaccine rollout in Oregon has been slow since the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines received emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration in December. Both of the vaccines require two shots. 

When the vaccines were approved, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) touted a goal of 100,000 Oregonians receiving the first shot of the vaccine before the end of 2020. So far, 51,275 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Oregon, including nine people who have received second doses. There have been 190,500 doses of the vaccine delivered to sites across Oregon, according to OHA. That means about 27% of COVID-19 vaccines that have been delivered in Oregon have been administered. 

A spokesman for OHA told KGW last week that the state could be doing a better job of getting people vaccinated.

RELATED: Oregon slow to vaccinate health care workers

Brown argued Oregon is on par with other states in the U.S., despite a Bloomberg report last week showing Oregon near the bottom when it comes to administering the vaccine. Brown called on OHA to ramp up efforts and vaccinate at a rate of 12,000 shots per day by the end of the next two weeks. 

“That will put us on track to deploy every vaccine we have in our hands each week,” Brown said. “OHA will be working with health care providers, pharmacies, and local public health partners to streamline the distribution process to achieve that goal.”

The most vaccines administered in a day so far was on Dec. 30, when 7,238 Oregonians got shots. Here’s a breakdown of vaccine doses administered in Oregon in 2021, according to OHA:

  • Jan. 4: 2,550
  • Jan. 3: 1,663
  • Jan. 2: 2,115
  • Jan. 1: 569

Click here to view the OHA COVID-19 vaccine dashboard

The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines is crucial to the governor’s plan for lifting restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus. As part of Oregon’s Phase 1A plan for distribution, this first batch of vaccines are going to Oregon hospitals, emergency medical service providers and long-term care facilities.

The state is still determining who will be eligible to get the vaccine as part of the next phase of distribution.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck effort, and I have directed OHA to partner as widely as possible to ensure we are using all available resources to ramp up Oregon's vaccinations rapidly,” Brown said Monday.

RELATED: Parents, teachers opposed to reopening schools put up memorial outside Oregon school district offices

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