On May 21, Governor Kate Brown was joined by Patrick Allen, Director of Oregon Health Authority (OHA), to provide an update on Oregon’s statewide vaccination progress and to announce new incentives for getting vaccinated. Here’s what you need to know.
Hospitalizations down, county vaccination progress improving
Governor Brown began Friday’s media briefing on a positive note: COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state are the lowest they’ve been since April and six counties have vaccinated at least 65% of their residents 16 and older.
“Every day, we are getting closer to ending the chapter of the pandemic,” said Governor Brown. “With summer just around the corner, and life starting to return to normal, I think we are all feeling excited and hopeful that good days lie ahead.”
As progress continues throughout the state, Oregon grows closer to reaching the 70% vaccination goal that Governor Brown previously established to move Oregon away from the County Risk Level framework.
Vaccination incentives established
To get Oregon to the 70% threshold a little more quickly, Governor Brown also announced that all people in Oregon who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by June 27 will be entered to win a prize from the “Take Your Shot Oregon” campaign. Prizes include:
- One $1 Million winner for Oregonians age 18 and older
- Five $100,000 Oregon College Savings Plan scholarship winners for Oregonians age 12–17
- One $10,000 winner for each Oregon county
“With the help from the Oregon State Treasury and Oregon Lottery, the Oregon Health Authority will conduct a drawing to randomly select the winners in each category,” said Governor Brown. “Winners will be notified and able to claim their prize or opt-out if they prefer.”
Selections will be made on June 28 and winners will be announced the week after.
COVID-19 surge losing steam
Director Allen also had his fair share of positive news.
“Over the past week, we’ve seen a 16% drop in newly reported cases each day, marking the second consecutive week cases have fallen,” said Director Allen. “Our 7-day moving average for daily cases is 486, which is 40% lower than it was on May 1.”
Director Allen stated that the drop in cases was likely associated with counties abiding by the County Risk Level framework, more people gathering outside, people in Oregon practicing preventive safety measures and an increasing number of people choosing to get vaccinated statewide.
Oregon’s vaccination progress
Director Allen was pleased to announce that Oregon remains on track to pass Governor Brown’s statewide 70% vaccination target before the end of June. Here’s a snapshot of what vaccinations have looked like throughout the state:
- 63% of Oregonians age 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- More than 2.1 million Oregonians in total have received at least one dose.
- 1,656,783 Oregonians have been fully vaccinated.
- 52% of Oregon’s total population have received at least one dose, as compared to the national average of 48%.
- On average, Oregon is administering more than 29,000 first and second doses every day.
Director Allen also made note of the improvement in vaccination rates Oregon has seen among various communities of color, which he attributed to expanded vaccination opportunities and enhanced partnerships in the community.
Five counties moving to Lower Risk May 21
On May 11, Governor Brown announced that counties would have the ability to move to Lower Risk by vaccinating 65% of their residents age 16 and older and submitting a comprehensive equity plan to OHA.
Benton, Deschutes, Hood River, Lincoln and Washington Counties have all successfully met these criteria and will be moving to Lower Risk on Friday, May 21.
“Looking ahead, we know other counties have reached the 65% threshold since last week or they are on pace to do so,” said Director Allen. “We look forward to working with those counties and every other county in Oregon to support their equity plans and to help them reach the 65% target to move to ‘Lower Risk’.”
Closing out his remarks, Director Allen encouraged all individuals age 12 and older to get vaccinated as soon as they could against COVID-19.
You can watch a recording of today’s briefing below.
To schedule your own COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit OHA’s How to Find a COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon webpage.