PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Officials from the Oregon Health Authority announced Thursday that vaccination sites have met the goal of administering a total of 12,000 coronavirus vaccine doses a day.
But authorities say they must continue to “sustain and expand” their daily totals as the COVID-19 case count continue to rise.
“The state can’t achieve our goal to deliver vaccinations quickly, efficiently and equitably, all on our own,” said Patrick Allen, the director of the health authority. “I’m grateful for the hard work that staff in hospitals, local health clinics and other sites have put into ramping up vaccinations for Oregonians.”
In an effort to reach the goal, which was set 10 days prior by Gov. Kate Brown, additional vaccination sites were added, people currently eligible for the vaccine were expanded and the National Guard was activated to help at a mass vaccination site in Salem.
Earlier this week Brown announced that Oregon will expand COVID-19 vaccination to include people age 65 and and older.
Vaccination of Oregon seniors, as well as child care providers and early learning and K-12 educators and staff, will start on Jan. 23, when additional vaccine shipments are expected to start arriving from the federal government.
The governor’s office said details on the distribution plans, as well as how Oregon will continue to reach populations most vulnerable to COVID-19, will be available on Friday.
The state has administered a cumulative total of 146,137 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
In addition, the Oregon Health Authority reported 1,152 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 29 additional deaths on Thursday.
The total amount of cases in Oregon, since the start of the pandemic, has increased to 130,246. The death toll is 1,737.
Cline is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.