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Oregon isn’t counting vaccinations received out-of-state

The governor has said that we need to have a 70% vaccination rate to fully open up. How are they tracking that rate? My husband and I are Jackson County residents but spend a few months in the winter in Arizona. We had our vaccinations in Arizona. There are many ‘snow birds’ that head south for the winter. How are they counting us?

― Barbara, Ashland

The short answer, Barbara, is that Oregon isn’t automatically tracking people like you and your husband.

Gov. Kate Brown said she would lift most COVID-19 restrictions when 70% of Oregonians 18 and older got vaccinated.

The state is inching slowly toward that goal, with 68.5% vaccinated as of Friday. The state has gained only about 2 percentage points over the past two weeks. The pace of vaccinations fell off after those most eager to get vaccinated got shots.

Oregon tracks vaccinations through its ALERT IIS system, according to the Oregon Healthy Authority.

Oregonians who get their shots in other states don’t automatically get that information added to the Oregon system.

“Only if a person sought care after their vaccination and shared their vaccination information with their Oregon provider or otherwise communicated with their provider in Oregon that they received the vaccine would this information show up in ALERT IIS (and would show up as a historical dose),” OHA public affairs specialist Rudy Owens said in an email.

We emailed him back to ask whether people who received an out-of-state COVID-19 vaccination should contact their Oregon providers so their shots can be entered into the ALERT IIS system. He did not respond to our inquiry.

Send questions to Since You Asked, Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com.