SALEM, OR (KPTV) - The state of Oregon is working to ramp up the number of COVID-19 vaccinations given out, at the same time the state is adding more people who will be eligible to get a vaccine next week.
Those 65 and older and pre-k through 12th grade teachers and staff will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine starting on January 23rd. Oregon Governor Kate Brown estimates some 800,000 more Oregonians will be eligible for a vaccine.
The state has been working for weeks to get through nearly 500,000 health care workers, first responders and those in long term care facilities.
As of Wednesday morning the state 110,441 Oregonians had begun the two shot vaccination process. 9,568 Oregonians had gotten both doses.
Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown toured a vaccine clinic set up by Salem Health and Marion County at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.
“Salem Health stood this up in very short order,” Brown said. “They are vaccinating from hundreds to 3000 people a day. As soon as we can get more vaccines for them. They are going to ramp it up.”
The site in Salem has been successful, one of the largest vaccination efforts in the state. Last week Brown ordered the Oregon National Guard to help out to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.
“They are vaccinating health care workers from Portland to Salem to all across the mid-Willamette Valley,” Brown said. “It truly is an extraordinary effort. It is a courageous effort.”
When it comes to rolling out a model like this across the state, the Governor says it is possible and could be easily replicated in Portland, Southern or Central Oregon.
Brown says the issue they are having right now is an uncertainty of supply from the Federal Government. The state is getting about 50,000 doses of vaccine each week.
“We do not have a sense yet of what the number of vaccine we are going to be getting regularly,” Brown said.
Other county health departments are looking at similar plans as well. The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems says hospitals across the state are preparing for the increase in those eligible to get the vaccine starting next Saturday.
In the Portland Metro area, the different health departments were working on plans as well for a larger scale vaccination effort.
Friday, the Governor plans to announce her plan to ramp of vaccinations statewide.