Welcome news on vaccine eligibility: What you need to know

Today, we are excited to announce changes to Oregon’s vaccine eligibility schedule based on new information about increased allocation from the federal government.

As of now, about 58 percent of Oregonians age 65 and older have been vaccinated. We are on a trajectory to vaccinate more than seven out of 10 by March 29, which is the next date that new groups become eligible statewide.

There is more good news: Some counties are ready to move on to the next eligibility groups. We don’t want appointment slots to go unfilled if areas have reached critical mass on currently eligible people. Next week, we will offer counties the opportunity to attest that they are ready to move on to Phase 1B, Group 6 to ensure available vaccine doses are reaching Oregonians. In addition, next week we will begin vaccinations for migrant and seasonal farmworkers who are currently out in the fields working.

If we receive the promised 250,000 or more prime doses per week, we expect to have enough to begin to make vaccinations available to every Oregonian 16 and older by May 1. Here are the updated dates:

March 29 remains the statewide date for Phase 1B, Group 6, which includes:

  • Adults 45-64 with one or more underlying health conditions with increased risk
  • Migrant and seasonal farmworkers
  • Seafood and agricultural workers
  • Food processing workers
  • People living in low-income senior housing, senior congregate and independent living
  • Individuals experiencing houselessness (sheltered and unsheltered)
  • People currently displaced by wildfires
  • Wildland firefighters
  • Pregnant people 16 and older

April 19, Group 7 will become eligible:

  • Frontline workers as defined by the CDC
  • Multigenerational household members
  • Adults 16-44 with one or more underlying health conditions with increased risk

(See this infographic for more details, including definitions of increased risk and frontline workers.)

On May 1, we will open eligibility to all Oregonians 16 and older, regardless of occupation or health condition.

We expect to see bottlenecks as each group becomes eligible. Again, not everyone will be able to get vaccinated right away. But if the doses come through, we’ll get through it. We will still ask for your patience.

“I want to take a moment and remember what a remarkable moment this is in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic,” OHA Director Patrick Allen said during today’s news conference. “Just over a year after Oregon recorded its first COVID-19 case, it’s possible every Oregonian could get vaccinated against the virus that has claimed the lives of more than half a million Americans.”

Don’t forget to go to covidvaccine.oregon.gov, sign up for notifications in the Get Vaccinated Oregon tool, and make your plan to get vaccinated.

You can view the news conference here.