Achieving COVID-19 Herd Immunity in Oregon: Progress & Challenges
38 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021
Date Written: July 13, 2021
Oregon has one of the higher adult vaccination rates in the US (just over 70% of adults 18+). This accomplishment is not to be scoffed at. Yet 20 percent of Oregonians have no plans to vaccinate, thus more work is needed.
On June 30, Gov. Brown lifted almost all restrictions put in place at the start of the pandemic. However, the data in this report highlight that the rates of vaccination are not even across the state. The map on this page shows vaccinations rates for Oregonians age 16+ (other places in this report use 18+ reporting). It is clear from this that there are large differences in vaccination rates within the state. Achieving a higher rate of vaccinations in all corners of the state assure benefits are more even and lasting.
Our analysis shows that rural parts of the state are less likely to get vaccinated, more likely to avoid precautionary measures (social distancing and masking), and more likely to think that COVID-19 is not particularly serious.
This combination of higher risk behaviors in rural areas is likely to create a longer-lasting and more impactful pandemic in Oregon. This combination of factors could create a breeding ground for new variants to emerge that will threaten not just rural Oregon, but the whole state. It will be vital to continue finding ways to persuade, entice, and encourage residents everywhere, and rural Oregonians in particular, to get vaccinated.
The remainder of this report lays out the findings from our report, highlighting who is and is not getting vaccinated.
Note: Funding: This survey was partially funded through a grant from the Economic Development Administration.
Declaration of Interests: The authors have no competing interests.
Ethics Approval Statement/Informed Consent Statement: The study was approved by the University of Oregon Institutional Review Board. Our study was given the approval number by RCS with an Exempt Determination with Protocol #08052020.005
Keywords: COVID-19, corona virus, vaccination, vaccination hesitance, rural policy, urban policy
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