All staff members of K-12 schools in the state of Oregon will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18 or six weeks after the final approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration, whichever is later, according to statements from Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Thursday.
Brown, who is a member of the Democratic party, acknowledged that there would be people who would disagree with the vaccination mandate imposed in the state. However, she also stressed on the risks involved if the mandate would not have been put in place and said that she was "willing to take the heat for it".
She said, "There are those who will disagree with the actions I am taking today. But school is starting across the state. COVID-19 poses a threat to our kids, and our kids need to be protected. And I’m willing to take the heat for it."
The 61-year-old American politician backed her move of by saying that wearing face masks and getting vaccinated against COVID-19 were the only ways that would help students remain in classrooms.
She wrote on Twitter, "From what we know today, there are two keys to keeping our students in classrooms. 1) Because children under 12 are not eligible for vaccination, masks are critical to prevent our kids from getting sick at school. 2) Ensuring all adults around our students are fully vaccinated.
Brown also acknowledged that Oregon has been facing a severe shortage of medical facilities since July. She noted that more than 845 residents of the state are currently in hospitals receiving treatment while 226 of those were admitted in ICUs. She further wrote, "Some hospital regions are beginning the day with 2 ICU beds available, or none at all."