Gov. Kate Brown visited Salem Health’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Oregon State Fair on Wednesday.
Brown watched National Guard member Carlos Rojas of Salem administer the Pfizer vaccine to Jason Mayberry, who lives in Portland and works in Salem.
In a brief statement, Brown said he hoped similar clinics would be copied to other major Oregon cities.
“Salem Health endured this in a very short time. They vaccinate anywhere from hundreds to 3,000 people a day. It̵
Brown has activated 40 guards to help at the clinic since Tuesday.
Salem Health President Cheryl Wolfe said the hospital had given 11,000 vaccines since the clinic opened a week ago.
“Our plan is to be open until Oregon is vaccinated,” Wolfe said.
On Tuesday, Brown announced that the state would soon open vaccines to anyone aged 65 or over, following new federal guidelines.
Until now, vaccines have been limited to health workers and people living in long-term care, followed by teachers and school staff.
The federal government also calls for a vaccine to be given to people between the ages of 18 and 65 with health conditions that could make them more susceptible to COVID-19. But Oregon will not yet include that population, Brown said Wednesday.
The state currently receives approximately 50,000 vaccines a week, while there are about 800,000 Oregonians aged 65 or older or teaching staff, she said.
“We will work hard to vaccinate people as quickly and efficiently as possible, and then we will include Oregons between the ages of 65 and 18 in the pool,” Brown said.
Brown’s spokesman Charles Boyle later said that about 1.6 million Oregonians could potentially be counted as having a basic health condition.
“At the moment, there are almost no vaccines available for this large number of people, but we will work with stakeholders to develop coverage and distribution plans so that we are ready to start vaccinating Oregons with basic health conditions such as more vaccines. are becoming available, ”Boyle said.
Brown ended his visit by talking to nurses and members of the National Guard, giving vaccines to patients at the clinic.
– Tracy Lowe / State Gazette