Gov. Kate Brown visited Salem Health’s vaccination clinic COVID-19 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Wednesday.
Brown looked at how National Guard member Juan Carlos Rojas of Salem administered the Pfizer vaccine to Jason Mayberry, who lives in Portland and works in Salem.
In a brief statement, Brown said she hopes similar clinics can be replicated in Oregon̵
“Salem Health stood up in very short order. They vaccinate anywhere from hundreds to 3,000 people a day. It really is an extraordinary effort, ”Brown said.
Brown activated 40 guards to help with the clinic beginning Tuesday.
Salem Health President Cheryl Wolfe said the hospital has provided 11,000 vaccines since the clinic opened a week ago.
“Our plan is to stay open until Oregon is vaccinated,” Wolfe said.
On Tuesday, Brown announced that the state will soon open vaccines for anyone 65 or older following new federal guidance.
Vaccines have so far been limited to health professionals and long-term caregivers, with teachers and school staff queuing.
The federal guidelines also call for the vaccine to be given to people aged 18 to 65 with health conditions that may make them more susceptible to COVID-19. But Oregon does not include that population yet, Brown said Wednesday.
Right now, the state receives about 50,000 vaccines a week, while there are about 800,000 Oregons who are 65 or older or school staff, she said.
“We need to work hard and get these people vaccinated as quickly and effectively as possible, and then we want to include Oregons between the ages of 65 and 18 in the pool,” Brown said.
Charles Boyle, Brown’s spokesman, later said that about 1.6 million Oregons could potentially be considered underlying health conditions.
“At this time, there are not nearly enough vaccines available for the large number of people, but we will work with stakeholders to develop outreach and distribution plans, so we will be ready to start vaccinating Oregonians with underlying health conditions as more vaccines. become available, ”Boyle said.
Brown ended his visit by chatting with nurses and National Guard members who provided vaccines to patients at the clinic.
–Tracy Loew / Statesman Journal