Low vaccine rates in many counties cause concern as Oregon nears reopening

"I'm concerned because of the low level of vaccination," Albany resident Gary Klein said.

Posted: Jun 16, 2021 7:43 PM
Updated: Jun 16, 2021 8:44 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Oregon is just over 60,000 first doses away from the 70% vaccination target for reopening the economy.

Right now, there are 11 counties with 60% or higher vaccination rate including Lane County, but there are also more than a dozen counties below 50%. Only eligible residents are included when calculating the vaccination percentages for counties and the state.

"I'm concerned because of the low level of vaccination," Albany resident Gary Klein said.

RELATED: OREGON TO FULLY REOPEN WHEN STATE REACHES 70% VACCINATED

Many people believe the loosening of restrictions is premature for the counties with the smaller community of vaccinated people.

"It is going to spread and maybe hit like wildfire in those areas where it is really low vaccination rate," Connor Wollock said.

However, others think the change is overdue. 

A post on the KEZI 9 News Facebook page received hundreds of comments, with many of them supporting reopening the economy regardless of the vaccination percentages.

"Open now. People that have chosen to get the vaccine have. It’s time to open up and move on," Jerri Ripka Weick said.

She's not the only one that feels that way.

"We should already be open, those who wanted to be vaccinated have been. Those who don’t won’t. Just open up Oregon. There is no reason to drag this on. Only going to cause anger and frustration," Karen McGoey Noel said.

Some said the state should operate on a county-by-county basis.

"Open counties as they hit. Keep the slacker counties closed until they reach 70," said Tony Morene.

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