By Associated Press - Tuesday, March 23, 2021

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon Health Authority says 13 counties can start giving COVID-19 vaccines to agricultural workers, people experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the move Monday follows the state’s announcement lats week that it would speed up vaccination timelines to meet the Biden administration’s goal of having all adults eligible for a vaccine by May 1.

Thirteen Oregon counties have applied and received approval to move ahead so far: Baker, Benton, Deschutes, Grant, Jefferson, Lake, Lincoln, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Polk, Umatilla and Union.

Those counties will now be able to enter Phase 1b, group 6 vaccination priorities, which includes adults ages 45 to 64 who have an underlying health condition, migrant and seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers, food processers, people experiencing homelessness, people displaced by wildfires, wildland firefighters, pregnant women older than 16, and people who are living in low-income, senior congregate and independent living facilities.

People in other Oregon counties who are within Phase 1b, group 6 will largely have to wait until March 29, when that group is eligible for the vaccine statewide.

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