State leaders provide update on vaccination progress

Governor Kate Brown was joined by Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen, State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger and other partners on Feb. 19 to give an update on Oregon’s vaccination rollout.

“Oregonians continue to make smart choices, and the numbers speak for themselves,” said Governor Brown. “As of yesterday, Oregon had the third lowest infection rate in the nation. And while this is great news, we must remain vigilant in the face of challenges ahead with the new variants. We advise Oregonians to continue to follow safety measures and choose your activities wisely so that you are minimizing risk as best you can.”

Here are some more highlights:

Oregon is making progress on vaccination:

  • Even though winter storms affected vaccine shipments and clinics, Oregon averaged more than 14,000 vaccinations per day (14,645) over the past week.
  • Oregon remains on schedule to open vaccinations to people 70 and older on Monday, Feb. 22.
  • OHA is committed to interrupting the widening racial, ethnic and other inequities we see in vaccinations and throughout the pandemic.

“At OHA, we’re working to build bridges with communities our health care system has failed to serve well, improve access to vaccines and other health care, eliminate health inequity and enable more people to live a healthier life,” said Director Allen. “Working with Federally Qualified Health Centers is at the core of our effort to eliminate COVID-19 health inequities.”

Director Allen pointed out that Oregon’s vaccination program is not on track regarding racial and ethnic inequity in responding to the pandemic or in vaccination rates. Latinx communities in Oregon have seen the most pronounced inequities when compared to whites.

  • People who identify as white represent 75% of people in Oregon however, while they only comprise about half (48%) of COVID-19 cases, they account for 74% of vaccinations.
  • People who identify as Latino or Hispanic represent 13% of people in Oregon but comprise 26% of COVID-19 cases – twice their proportion of the population.
  • Only 5% of the vaccinations administered to date have been administered to the Latinx community.
  • People who identify as Black or African American are 2% of the state population and they represent 2.4% of COVID-19 cases. They represent under 2% of COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Native Americans comprise close to 2% of people in Oregon and account for close to 2% of COVID-19 cases and 2% of COVID-19 vaccinations.

You can watch the news conference here. More information on vaccines is available at and at

This article first appeared in the Feb. 19, 2021 edition of Oregon Coronavirus Update.