As Oregon Heads Into the Next COVID Wave, Vaccination Rates in Some Parts of Portland Are Remarkably High

Omicron cases haven’t spiked yet in Oregon.

In Multnomah County, eight ZIP codes now have upwards of 90% of their population with at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to Oregon Health Authority estimates.

The data suggests high vaccine acceptance in many areas of the central city and, with that, potentially better protection against the new wave of the virus. At the same time, the data shows a much lower acceptance rate in East Portland and east Multnomah County. Six ZIP codes in the county, all east of 82nd Avenue, show less than 70% of the population with one dose.

The ZIP codes with the highest vaccination rates can be viewed here (choose the “ZIP Code Data” tab and then select Multnomah County). They contain all of Northwest Portland, along with the neighborhoods of Goose Hollow, Boise-Eliot, Laurelhurst and Buckman.

To be sure, the data has some flaws with the population estimates, from 2019 Census figures, which apparently undercount certain neighborhoods’ population growth: Two areas show vaccination rates in excess of 100%.

Overall, Multnomah County has a higher vaccination rate than the rest of the state, with nearly 77% of residents having at least one dose. (Only one county, Lincoln County, has a slightly higher vaccination rate, according to OHA estimates.)

Official data from OHA has as yet not shown a dramatic rise in Oregon’s COVID cases, even as the Omicron variant is driving a spike in cases elsewhere in the country. (Only three cases of Omicron have been officially tallied in OHA data.)

In the week that ended Dec. 19, Oregon cases rose 10%, although testing also increased. Cases have continued to rise in the past two days, as has the percentage of tests coming back positive. According to a New York Times tally, Oregon’s case rate currently ranks fifth lowest among the states.

Oregon is projected to experience an Omicron peak of more than 3,000 hospitalizations by February if Oregonians continue to get vaccinations and boosters at the current rate.

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