Vaccine distribution delays make government rethink rollout plan

MEDFORD, Ore. – Healthcare workers, first responder, as well as people in congregate living areas, such as nursing homes are the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Oregon.

But with the state quickly falling behind in vaccination rates, government officials said they are having to rethink their plans.

“It’s not good enough to be in the middle of the pack,” said Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen.

The CDC said Oregon is 36th when it comes to getting the vaccine out. Now Allen is pointing to changes in information for the slower rollout.

“The information that we’ve had about which vaccines are available, with the indications with age-range. Those kinds of things have been in extreme flux up until this very moment, but certainly until very recently. So we thought it was better, given the amount of prioritization done in Oregon to convene a group after we knew as much information as we do about these vaccines,” said Allen.

Now, Oregon is pivoting with the COVID-19 vaccination process for the state to move on to the next group. Starting Saturday and Sunday, Governor Kate Brown has called on the National Guard to help support a vaccination event in Salem.

The governor is pressuring vaccination sites to inject 12,000 Oregonians a day with the shot.

Governor Brown said the next group of people slated for the vaccine are educators and students, so the state can safely go back to school.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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