In a signal of increased vaccine supply and brisk distribution in many counties, Gov. Kate Brown has again accelerated the timeline for when many Oregonians can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The governor announced Friday morning that several groups are eligible for vaccinations April 5—two weeks sooner than the previous date, April 19. Those groups include people 16 and up with underlying health conditions, as well as frontline workers, as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ranging from bus drivers to bartenders.
The group moving up to April 5 also includes grocery workers, who have been publicly furious over not receiving a higher priority. Brown hasn't yielded on her vaccination ordering—but grocery workers are seeing their eligibility date advanced for the second time in a month.
The date when all Oregon adults become eligible for the vaccine is May 1.
On Thursday, Brown publicly celebrated President Joe Biden's new projection that 200 million Americans would be vaccinated in his first 100 days in office. Today, she said the pace at which all counties are delivering doses allows her to accelerate the timeline statewide.
Yet Oregon ranks 35th among 50 U.S. states in its pace of vaccination—and other states, from Connecticut to Texas, are making all citizens eligible by early April. It's not clear why Brown isn't widening the eligibility pool at that rate: It could be because Oregon isn't receiving enough vaccine supply to vaccinate everyone, or because the state's system for delivering shots is incapable of moving that quickly.