PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon health officials have fallen far short of a goal to get COVID-19 booster shots into the arms of an additional 1 million Oregonians by the end of January.
Gov. Kate Brown announced the goal in December as Oregon braced for a surge in cases and hospitalizations from the highly contagious omicron variant.
But data released by the Oregon Health Authority shows the state only got booster shots into the arms of 504,081 additional residents, about half the goal.
Authorities say new cases statewide dropped more than 20% week-to-week, however, indicating that Oregon’s omicron surge may be receding.
In Deschutes County, COVID cases last week fell by about 27%, the second-straight week of declining numbers.
Meanwhile, U.S. regulators are urging drugmaker Pfizer to apply for emergency authorization for a two-dose regimen of its COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years old.
That’s according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive regulatory issues.
The Biden administration aims to clear the way for the shots as soon as late February.
The company’s application is expected to be submitted as soon as Tuesday.
Early Pfizer data has shown the vaccine is safe and produces an immune response.
The vaccine is administered to younger kids at one-tenth the strength of the adult shot.