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Gov. Brown Doubles Down on Boosters
The state plan to fight Omicron is boosters and more boosters

In a press conference, Oregon Governor Kate Brown unveiled the state plan to fight the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. The press conference, held in conjunction with Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the State Epidemiologist, Director Patrick Allen of the Oregon Health Authority, Dr. Renee Edwards, Chief Medical Officer at the Oregon Health & Science University, and Dr. Peter Graven, Lead Data Scientist at OHSU’s Business Intelligence Unit.

In her prepared opening remarks, Governor Brown placed the most hope on boosters. "The science and data are clear: vaccinations are the strongest line of defense we have against COVID-19 -- and the preliminary research shows boosters provide a critical layer of protection against the Omicron variant.

"Today I am calling on one million Oregonians to step up and get their booster dose by the end of January. I’ve directed OHA to get the vaccine supply and distribution capacity in place to support this goal. However, we will only reach it if everyone does their part. She outlined a five point plan to address the Omicron variant which centered on boosters.
  1. Oregon will urge 1 million Oregonians to get boosters by the end of January.
  2. Oregon will prioritize boosters for people who are most vulnerable to becoming hospitalized if they catch the Omicron variant.
  3. Rapidly deliver new COVID-19 treatments and dramatically expand needed testing.
  4. Support health care workers and hospitals in the face of the coming Omicron surge.
  5. Connect more people to boosters, treatments and testing.
For those hoping to keep schools open to in-person learning, Dr. Sidelinger spoke of measures being encouraged at schools, including increasing ventilation, requiring masks, and keeping students apart.

"These measures taken together make schools the least likely place where students or children will get infected. It's more in the community, in the social settings and extra-curricular activities where the risk is higher."



Not addressed by Governor Brown, her panel of state experts or members of the media in virtual attendance was the role that natural immunity may play in keeping a lid on the Omicron variant. According to some experts infection with the Omicron variant -- and its mild symptoms -- may provide better protection than even boosted vaccinations.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-12-18 11:50:18Last Update: 2021-12-18 13:36:28



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