State reaches important milestone as vaccination effort continues
PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority reported Wednesday that 80% of Oregonians 18 and older have had at least one does in their vaccination series against COVID-19. That’s 2,681,267 people in Oregon, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who are now more protected against the coronavirus and one step closer to the critical threshold of immunity.
The CDC’s number and percentage of adults who’ve received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is slightly higher than the number and percentage reported on Oregon’s vaccination dashboard. The CDC’s data include vaccinations delivered through federal installations and facilities, such as the Veteran’s Administration.
Overall, Oregon has delivered at least on dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 68 percent of all residents (children below 12 remain ineligible for a vaccine). The state ranks 20th in the nation for the percentage of residents who have received at least one shot.
Oregon has fully vaccinated 63 percent of all residents and ranks 12th in the nation for the percentage of residents who are fully protected.
State health officials are encouraged that Oregon has reached the threshold of 80 percent of adults who’ve received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. But health experts estimate that Oregon and other states remain below the level of “herd immunity” required to extinguish viral transmission. Health experts continue to urge people who are unvaccinated to get immunized.
“Reaching 80 percent is an important milestone because it loosens COVID-19’s grip on our state. Vaccines work and we know they save lives. We strongly encourage everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so at their earliest opportunity. Getting vaccinated is – quite simply – our state’s best way out of this pandemic,” said Rachael Banks, OHA’s Public Health Director. Banks points out that while the state has made significant progress in closing the vaccination gap, among people of color and rural communities, Oregon is still below the 80% threshold of those vaccinated, showing that vaccinations in Oregon have not been administered as equitably as they should be. OHA has conducted intensive outreach across the state through its Community Partner Outreach Program and Community Engagement Team to engage more than 170 community-based organizations. These partnerships led to the co-production of outreach materials in 11 languages and dozens of community-specific vaccine events.
“We are working with leaders in communities of color and faith communities to redress the lack of fair access to vaccines,” Banks added. “We are committed to making sure our health care system and our vaccination efforts do a better job at eliminating long held health injustices. We also are working with organizers to incorporate child-friendly services wherever possible, knowing that very soon children ages 5-11 will be authorized to receive the vaccine as well.”
“While we celebrate this milestone, our hope is that the 80% vaccination rate only continues to rise to include every Oregonian.”