Four Vaccinated Oregonians Contract COVID, Weather Slows Inoculations

While Oregon has not had any new deaths due to COVID-19, the state has reported 254 new cases on Sunday, continuing its trend of lowered case counts per day. The day before, four Oregonians tested positive for the virus after receiving both doses of the vaccine.  

In a series of tweets, Oregon Health Authority said the cases are either mild or asymptomatic. Two cases are in Yamhill county, and two are in Lane county. 

“We are working with our local and federal public health partners to investigate and determine case origin,” the OHA said. “Genome sequencing is underway, and we expect results next week. 

Individuals who test positive at least 14 days after both doses of the vaccine have been administered are what the agency is calling “breakthrough cases,” and more may occur.  

“Clinical trials of both vaccines presently in use included breakthrough cases. In those cases, even though the participants got Covid, the vaccines reduced the severity of illness,” the agency said in a tweet. 

“Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a Covid-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get the virus. … Getting as many Oregonians as possible vaccinated remains a critical objective to ending the pandemic.” 

Vaccinations have been slowed in Northwest Oregon due to a winter storm causing icy road conditions that led to the shutdown of mass vaccination sites in Portland and Salem. These conditions likely also prevented sick or potentially exposed people from seeking a COVID test. 

The state has administered approximately 677,194 first and second doses of the vaccine out of the 885,250 received, or around 76% of its supply. 

On Monday at 9 a.m., the next wave of people 75 or older can start booking their first vaccine in Portland online. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that quarantining is unnecessary for those who are three months fully vaccinated, meaning at least 2 weeks have passed since the last in the series of inoculations and individuals have not developed any symptoms. However, other measures such as wearing facemasks and social distancing are still important. 

Benton county reported three new COVID cases on Sunday.   

By: Hannah Ramsey