By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday announced the expansion of COVID-19 vaccination to all Oregonians age 65 and older, as well as all daycare workers and educators.
They will be eligible to receive the vaccine shot starting Jan. 23.
95-year-old Lois Houlberg of Bend has quarantined at home since the pandemic began.
“It has affected my life tremendously,” Houlberg said. “I was playing bridge three times a week — no longer. I was going to exercise class twice a week — no longer. I have just been homebound.”
She has been patiently waiting for her turn to get vaccinated.
“The doctor thought I would be able to get the vaccine in March,” Houlberg said.
Central Oregon Daily broke the news to her: she may be able to get the vaccine as soon as Jan. 23.
“Oh my gosh, that is wonderful,” she said. “I get it then. Yes.
“I just can hardly wait,” Houlberg added. “I think it is the most wonderful thing. I watch the news all the time trying to understand what is going on with this poor world.”
Desiree Harrington has been Houlberg’s Home Instead caregiver for a year.
“I am thrilled,” Harrington said. “I am happy to give her more information on when, which is something we have both been waiting on.”
Gloria Rockwell, communications director at Home Instead, says about 130 caregivers work with around 200 clients.
“The fact that there is an end in sight is just overwhelming,” Rockwell said.
Houlberg is ecstatic to get the vaccine, but won’t be throwing any parties.
“Well, I am not going out and celebrating,” Houlberg said. “I will probably just stay at home and take it easy and say thank God I got it.”
Brown and the Oregon Health Authority will provide more details on COVID vaccination distribution to seniors on Friday.