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Pres. Biden's push for vaccinations affecting Oregon and Washington timelines
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Story by Dan McCarthy - Story Source
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  PANDEMIC Making Vaccines Available  
 
PORTLAND, Oregon — Both Oregon and Washington leaders are responding to calls from President Biden to make coronavirus vaccines available for all Americans over the age of 16 by May.

However, one state's response is more significant than the other.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced on March 11th that the next vaccination group will now be eligible 5 days sooner than previously anticipated.

Vaccine Phase 1B tier 2 will start on March 17th, and include high-risk critical workers who work in certain congregate settings:

Agriculture; fishing vessel crews; food processing; grocery stores; corrections; prisons, jails or detention centers; public transit; remaining first responders.

The grouping also includes people 16 years or older who are pregnant, or have a disability that puts them at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness.

In Oregon, the timeline shift is much more minor.

The Oregon Health Authority announced last week that pregnant women over the age of 16 will now become eligible on March 29th, earlier than previously planned.

Speaking at a press conference on March 12, Governor Brown said that vaccination timelines are always subject to change, but those changes are reliant on the supply of vaccines.

"If doses are there, we will use state and federal resources to match President's timeline for universal eligibility," said Governor Brown.

Health officials said Oregon doesn't plan to accelerate its vaccination timeline right now, because the state isn't sure when the extra doses will arrive.

The Oregon Health Authority reported last week that overall, 11% of Oregonians have been fully vaccinated, which is ahead of the national average of 9.9%. Read full story