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Oregon teachers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before senior citizens

The move contradicts a recent CDC panel recommendation that puts older Americans first.

PORTLAND, Oregon – Some senior Oregon citizens are angry that Gov. Kate Brown has moved teachers in front of them when it comes to vaccinating for COVID-19.

The governor made the announcement last week and knew it would not be popular in some circles.

“Look, these are really, really difficult decisions, and the harsh reality is that we don̵

7;t have enough vaccines to vaccinate everyone at once,” she said on Friday.

Many Oregonians in their 70s and older contacted KGW to share their outrage. Trish Smith said she was surprised to hear the governor’s order to put teachers first.

It was really depressing, “she said.” It was like being hit in the gut again. “

Smith is 77 years old, lives alone and would like to receive the coronavirus vaccine. She has a condition that makes it difficult for her to breathe. But because she lives independently, she will have to wait until tens of thousands of teachers and support staff first receive their COVID-19 photos.

This contradicts a recent recommendation by a panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that puts older Americans first – and Smith knows it.

“The CDC’s recommendations are that adults should have priority at either 70 or 75, because we are the ones who are dying,” Smith said.

She does not expect to survive if she gets a coronavirus.

The Oregon Education Association represents 44,000 teachers in the state and is one of the most powerful unions in Oregon. Its president, John Larson, has nothing against older Oregonians.

“On equal terms, if they weren’t put in this situation – if they could continue with comprehensive distance learning – then you probably need to give priority to older people,” Larson said.

But he feels the governor is forcing teachers to return to the classroom, giving local school districts control over when to reopen.

RELATED: Elementary students from Lake Oswego are expected to begin hybrid training in February

“If the governor is going to insist that schools reopen to study in person, then we need to insist that they be vaccinated before they do,” Larson said. their work without fear. “

Larson said half of its members have underlying conditions, making the coronavirus more dangerous to them.

The Vaccine Advisory Board helps Brown decide who should be given priority when it comes to photos, but it seems clear that the governor has decided that.

“As for older people living independently, I encourage them to continue to take precautions,” Brown said.

RELATED: A 27-member committee to help decide who will receive the next COVID-19 vaccine in Oregon

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