By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday the Federal Government will up COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Oregon by 20% in the coming weeks.
That means Oregon is set to offer the first dose of the vaccine to 75% of people 65 and older by the beginning of April.
Brown said starting next week, statewide vaccinations will begin for those 80 years old and older.
With around 167,000 people becoming eligible for the shot, Patrick Allen with the Oregon Health Authority admitted sign-ups may become “chaotic.”
“Many seniors and their family members will be frustrated in trying to secure an appointment,” Allen said.
Deschutes County Public Health expects to receive around 1,000 doses of the vaccine next week, according to Public Information Officer Morgan Emerson.
After inoculating some people under the age of 80 last week, the agency will now follow the state’s timeline moving forward, Emerson said.
That’s good news for 80-year-old Redmond Man Ric Fondren. Both Fondren and his wife have underlying health conditions, which has made life difficult during the pandemic.
“I would be sick and angry if I brought something home that caused my wife not to make it,” Fondren said.
Fondren and his wife are both looking forward to the freedom the vaccine will provide.
“We would love to get our vaccine,” Fondren said. “We have grandchildren and last year we got a great-grandchild. The way things are now, I’ll never be able to hold this little one.”
Those eligible for the vaccine can find more information on how to sign up for an appointment at Deschutes County’s vaccine information website.