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Rural Leaders Condemn Brown's Vaccine Distribution Plan

Republican Legislative leaders 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, 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. “First, the Emergency Board unfairly allocated federal COVID relief money to prioritize Portland. Now this. At a time when we should be uniting as a state, the Governor is picking winners and losers and once again punishing rural Oregon.”

State Senator Dick Anderson said “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. I am disappointed to hear that the coast has once again been penalized in favor of Portland."

Representative David Gomberg in his newsletter stated "My frustration this week is that regions like ours that are doing well are being asked to wait while other parts of Oregon catch up. The reason is that we have already vaccinated the highest priority recipients - the so-called “1a” population of first responders, medical professionals and educators. That has allowed us to begin administering vaccines to people further down the priority list."

Gomber added "But the State has now decided to focus in areas that haven’t reached the 1a population yet. Portland, with 43% of the state’s population will receive 60% of the doses next week. Meanwhile, seniors on the waiting list here will continue to wait. Continuing to administer vaccines will help our health, our economy, and our general wellbeing. Our counties should be rewarded rather than punished for their good work."

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