Oregon's COVID-19 vaccination rate hits 70 percent

About 70 percent of adults in Oregon have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the state’s health department said Friday. 

The Oregon Health Authority announced the milestone in a press release based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), noting that the state now follows behind 17 others that have reached the 70 percent threshold. 

While some states have been able to achieve relatively high vaccination rates, the country overall appears unlikely to reach President BidenJoe BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit MORE’s goal of having at least 70 percent of U.S. adults with at least one COVID-19 shot by July 4. 

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In Oregon, roughly 64 percent of adults ages 18 older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the CDC, meaning they have received both shots of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said in a statement Friday that hitting the vaccination milestone “means we have a better chance to sustain a safe reopening.” 

“The safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines continue to drive down new cases, hospitalizations and deaths in our state,” he added, noting that “COVID-19 hasn’t gone away.” 

He went on to say that Oregon has a goal of vaccinating “eight in 10 people across Oregon, particularly adults in communities of color and other under-vaccinated groups.” 

According to the state health department, more than 9 in 10 recent coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the state have been among residents who were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

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This comes as CDC Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyFDA panel endorses COVID-19 booster shots for older Americans, rejects widespread use Watch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows MORE said this week that fully vaccinated people are “safe” from coronavirus variants, including the highly transmissible delta variant first identified in India that is now spreading rapidly across the U.S.

Earlier this week, Oregon fully lifted remaining coronavirus restrictions in the state, including mask mandates, social distancing requirements and capacity limits. 

While Oregon Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownOregon governor sued by police, firefighters over vaccine mandate Unvaccinated employee sparked COVID-19 outbreak at Oregon assisted living facility: officials At least 90,000 students have had to quarantine because of COVID-19 so far this school year MORE (D) said in May that coronavirus restrictions would not be lifted statewide until the 70 percent vaccination threshold was met, the governor said last week that the state would open by June 30 at the latest. 

However, federal mask mandates at airports and on public transportation still remain in place, and Oregon businesses may still require that customers wear masks or show proof of vaccination. 

Brown is one of several governors who has introduced a lottery for residents who have gotten the shot to boost rates of vaccinations. 

Names were drawn in the “Take Your Shot, Oregon” lottery on Monday, with winners of the $1 million grand prize and other smaller cash prizes scheduled to be announced next week.