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As COVID-19 spread continues, Gov. Brown updates vaccine timeline again

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Brown said Oregon must “move as quickly as possible” to vaccinate everyone as cases of the virus rise.

PORTLAND, Ore. — All Oregonians over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on April 19, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday morning.

The change to Oregon's timeline came as President Joe Biden planned to announce that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible for a vaccine by April 19.

The previous eligibility date for people 16 and older in Oregon was May 1.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Brown said Oregon must “move as quickly as possible” to vaccinate everyone as cases of the virus rise.

“We are locked in a race between vaccine distribution and the rapid spread of COVID-19 variants,” Brown said. “Today, Oregon will pass the threshold of 2 million vaccine doses administered. And yet, in communities across Oregon, COVID-19 is spreading at concerning rates. We must move as quickly as possible to get more shots in arms. Beginning April 19, all Oregonians over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a vaccine.

“However, whether before April 19 or after, it’s critical that we continue to focus on equity in our vaccine distribution efforts,” Brown added. “Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and communities of color have been disproportionately hard-hit by this disease. We must reach Oregonians where they are, including those who may not have easy access to health care or the ability to take time off from work.”

RELATED: Oregon officials warn of fourth COVID-19 surge

On Monday, frontline workers became eligible in Oregon, along with people 16 and older with underlying health conditions and those living in multigenerational households.

“Over the next two weeks, we will dedicate all available resources to ensure Oregon’s frontline workers and people with underlying conditions have access to vaccines––two groups in which Oregonians from communities of color are predominantly represented,” said Brown.

Brown said her office is working closely with the Biden administration to ensure Oregon receives enough vaccine supplies.

Also on Tuesday, the governor and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced updated county risk levels based on the continued spread of the virus.

RELATED: Uptick in COVID-19 cases in Portland metro area and Clark County, health officials say