Frontline workers react to accelerated vaccination timeline

“I’ve got to go home to my family. I want to make sure that our customers are safe as well,” Kelly Hatfield, who works at Anna’s Deli #2, said. “Being frontline, we're here to make sure that everybody's safe.”

Posted: Mar 27, 2021 12:41 PM

EUGENE, Ore -- Gov. Kate Brown announced an accelerated vaccination timeline Friday.

RELATED: OHA ACCELERATES VACCINATION TIMELINE

Starting on April 5, frontline workers, people living in multigenerational households, and people over the age of 16 with underlying health conditions will become eligible to get vaccinated.

“I’m around a lot of people who come and go,” Stephanie Wittmayer, who works at Anna’s Deli #2, said. “I’m handling a lot of cash, a lot of this, that, handling other people's drinks and stuff like that so, I’d say it helps with not spreading stuff.”

That’s exactly two weeks earlier that previously planned.

“I’ve got to go home to my family. I want to make sure that our customers are safe as well,” Kelly Hatfield, who works at Anna’s Deli #2, said. “Being frontline, we're here to make sure that everybody's safe.”

This comes as roughly two-thirds of the state’s seniors have already received their shots.

According to state health officials, the vaccination process has started to slow down in some counties due to lack of interest from the remaining eligible populations.

"In keeping with Oregon's commitment to equity, this change give frontline workers and other Group 7 populations more time to get vaccinated," Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said. "It also ensures that counties that have seen a plateau in demand among older adults can make sure they can continue to keep putting shots in arms at a rapid pace."

Oregon will receive 195,000 prime vaccine doses next week, according to the Oregon Health Authority. The state tentatively expects to receive roughly 250,000 doses on a week starting on April 10, Allen said.

The Oregon Health Authority also announced counties will be allowed to apply to expand eligibility to all residents on April 26, five days earlier than originally planned.

Local health officials will be required to submit applications to state’s health department by April 15th if they intend to expand eligibility to all residents on April 26. The state will review those applications and announce which counties can move forward in the vaccination process on April 22nd.

Gov. Brown still plans to make all Oregonians eligible no later than May 1.

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