Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge avoided; educators next in line for vaccine

Moving forward, the state should expect future cuts to our vaccine allotment, Brown said.

Posted: Dec 22, 2020 11:57 AM
Updated: Dec 23, 2020 7:58 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday said Oregon should expect future cuts to our vaccine allotment.

A sharp cut was announced for the second week of vaccine shipments. Brown said these decisions are in the hands of the federal government.

Health care workers and people at long-term care facilities were given first priority for the vaccine, and many are wondering who will be next in line in Oregon. Brown said educators and child care workers are high priority for the vaccine.

Infections were down 11 percent last week in Oregon, and Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen said this was due to the diligent work of Oregonians over Thanksgiving. 

"You've made a difference. You've literally saved the lives of thousands of people in your community, across your state, and who knows, maybe even in your own family," he said. "Oregonians prevented the post-Thanksgiving surge that could have overtopped our hospitals. Our state ranks 48th in the nation for case rates over the past week."

Allen also said the arrival of the Moderna vaccine will make it easier for rural area hospitals to vaccinate because it doesn't need to be stored at nearly as cold of temperatures as the Pfizer vaccine.

As of yesterday 7,200 high risk Oregonians have gotten their first shot. In order to have community immunity, over two million more will need the vaccine. Two doses are required for the vaccine to be effective.

And while we don't even have the 100,000 high-priority Oregonians vaccinated with their first of the two shots, Brown said she knows who comes next.

"One of the things I know for sure is that our educators, school staff, child care providers and early learning educators must be at the top of our list for the next round of Oregon's vaccines," she said. 

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