Vaccine delay to last months for some seniors, health workers

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation

It’s likely to take weeks—or more likely months—for Oregonians eligible seniors and certain health care workers to receive a coronavirus vaccine to actually receive a shot in the arm.

Many healthcare workers have been excluded form the recent vaccinations because they were not under the umbrella of the five major healthcare organizations. The State simply overlooked them. Now that the State is vaccination educators, there is no spare room for health care workers. The Oregonian quoted one official as calling it a “very dark, low day” for Oregon.

Gov. Kate Brown outlined an ambitious timeline for vaccinating residents—prioritizing school officials first and then seniors 80 and older—but it’s likely to increase demand for vaccines that the state doesn’t have.

Becky Hultberg, president of the Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems, said even those eligible for the vaccine will need to wait to schedule an appointment, KGW reported. She wants to manage the expectations of residents eager to put the pandemic behind them. The reality is the state doesn’t have enough vaccine for everyone who wants it.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, educators can receive the vaccine starting Jan. 25; people 80 and older Feb. 7; and seniors 65 and older Feb. 28.