PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Patrick Allen on Wednesday said all adults in Oregon should be able to schedule a vaccine appointment by May 1. Allen made the announcement during an interview on OPB.
"In Oregon every single adult will be eligible for a vaccine on May 1, which does not mean they will get a vaccine on May 1, but they will be eligible," Allen said during the interview.
An OHA spokesperson emailed KGW the following statement from the governor's office:
It is welcome news for all Oregonians that the Biden-Harris administration has secured the vaccine production agreements needed for everyone 16 and over in the United States to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1.
We look forward to partnering with the federal government to ensure that Oregon and our local health partners have the vaccine supplies and federal support necessary to implement this directive.
We are following up with the administration for more specifics about when vaccine shipments to states will increase, but in a briefing with governors earlier this week, it was clear the White House has worked hard to secure additional vaccine supplies for states in the coming weeks.
We will continue to center equity in all of our vaccine distribution efforts, whether that means ensuring that seniors, people with underlying conditions, frontline workers, and the Oregonians most vulnerable to COVID-19 have the opportunity for vaccinations prior to May 1––or after May 1, working with local health partners to ensure these priority groups continue to have access to appointments.
Both Allen and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown spoke about the possibility of changing Oregon’s vaccine timeline during a televised news conference on March 12, one day after President Joe Biden directed all states to open vaccinations to all adults by May 1.
Brown and Allen said Oregon would accelerate its timeline as long as doses from the federal government are available.
"If the doses are there, I have every intention of utilizing all available state and federal resources to match the president’s timeline for universal eligibility," Brown said on March 12.
Oregon’s most recent vaccine rollout plan says a new group of people will become eligible on March 29. That group includes:
- 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 displaced by wildfires
- Wildland firefighters
- Pregnant women 16 and older
Allen told the Oregon Legislature on Wednesday that OHA is considering adjusting its vaccine eligibility timeline so that front-line workers and people with pre-existing conditions will be able to get a shot before the general population has access on May 1.