It has been one year since COVID-19 vaccines first became available in Oregon. Health officials are still urging people to get vaccinated and boosted. OHSU’s Dr. Ryan Thrower said she will never forget that day.
“We were all at the point where we couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and that was kind of our first glimmer of light or hope,” she said.
Last year, The Oregon Dental Association pushed lawmakers to allow dentists to administer any vaccine to any age. Oregon is now the only state in the nation that allows dentists to administer vaccines other than the flu shot. Dr. Thrower received her vaccination training at OHSU when she was still a dental student. Dr. Thrower gave her first COVID-19 vaccine during Gov. Kate Brown’s press conference on Dec. 16. Thrower was the first dental resident in the country to administer a COVID-19 vaccine.
Bryan Goodin added, “We just in the U.S. hit 800,000 deaths, almost 800 were children, and in Oregon, we’ve hit more than 5,500 deaths and five of those were children,” “There’s staff in every hospital in the state that are still working hard to the point of exhaustion.”
In the next year, health care workers expect that more variants will likely arise and that COVID may stick around like the flu. However, officials say that staying proactive, even if we are collectively tired of it, will keep us on the right path.