PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority announced Thursday that 80% of Oregonians 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, accounting for more than 2.68 million people.
OHA said that the achievement was measured through CDC data, which is slightly higher than numbers reported by the state itself. The CDC's data includes vaccinations done through federal facilities, such as the Veteran's Administration.
By total population, Oregon has now delivered at least one dose of a COVID-19 to 68% of all residents. Currently, children under the age of 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. Fully vaccinated individuals make up 63% of all Oregon residents, and the state ranks 12th in the nation by this metric.
State officials said that they are encouraged that Oregon has reached the threshold of 80% of adults who have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, but health experts believe that Oregon and other similarly situated states are still below the level of "herd immunity" needed to halt viral transmission. The OHA continues to urge those who are unvaccinated to get a shot.
“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 said 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 — suggesting that vaccinations in Oregon have not been administered as equitably as they should be.
The OHA says it has prioritized outreach across the state through its Community Partner Outreach Program and Community Engagement Team to engage more than 170 community-based organizations, producing 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.”