Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Oregon Republican leaders rebuke vaccine redirection

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Justin Werner
Justin Werner is a publisher/journalist living in Lincoln City, Oregon. He strives to get all sides of a story and maintains strict ethical standards for both of the publications he oversees.
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Republican leaders of Oregon’s House and Senate issued a joint statement Friday, sharply criticizing Gov. Brown’s redirection of 32,000 vaccines from rural Oregon to Portland.

Representative Christine Drazan (R-Canby) and Senator Fred Girod (R-Lyons) responded to the Governor’s decision to send 32,000 additional vaccines to Portland, saying the Governor was once again prioritizing urban Oregon over the needs of rural Oregon.

“Without public input, the Governor’s announcement that she is redirecting 32,000 vaccines
from rural Oregon to Portland is troubling. Cities and counties across the state, who have faced the brunt of the Governor’s shutdown orders, carefully planned to safely vaccinate their communities have suddenly had their allocations redirected. This is an insult to them and unfair to their communities.”

Lincoln County Public Health issued a statement about vaccine redirection Thursday:

Public Health has learned that the State will be giving more vaccine to other counties to complete their Phase 1A vaccinations. This means that our county will see little to no additional vaccine being distributed over the next two weeks.

The health agency said almost all first responders, medical professionals and educators have been vaccinated and will be moving to vaccinate citizens aged 75 and older as soon as supply is available. Health officials said the slow down in vaccinations would allow an equitable distribution across the state.

Republican Senator Dick Anderson, representing the 5th District, spoke on the vaccine redeployment:

“Lincoln County has been efficient in providing vaccinations for those people in the 1A category and moving quickly to vaccinate teachers and more of the elderly, However, the Governor has allocated additional vaccines to Portland, away from such counties as Lincoln County, instead of equitably distributing those vaccines throughout Oregon.”

Oregon’s Republican leadership said the Emergency Board unfairly allocated federal COVID-19 dollars to prioritize Portland and with vaccines being rerouted from rural to urban areas, they feel Gov. Brown is picking winners and losers, saying rural Oregon is being “punished.”

“I am disappointed to hear that the coast has once again been penalized in favor of Portland,” Anderson said.

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