OHA seeks youth ages 15-19 for advisory council on pandemic recovery

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is looking for young people ages 15-19 to lead a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) that will decide how to spend $1 million to help youth and their communities and schools recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is part of a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide economic relief following the pandemic.

From applications received through March 31, OHA will select 20 youth to serve on the advisory council. They will be required to attend a once monthly two-hour meetings and asked to spend about three additional hours a month on council activities, as well as attend two four-hour retreats.

YAC members will work together to:

  • Define what recovery looks like and the values of recovery
  • Identify needs and health inequities that are priorities for youth
  • Have discussions about health equity and community engagement
  • Talk about what is already happening regarding pandemic recovery for youth

For their time and contributions, YAC members will receive:

  • $45 an hour for time spent on council activities
  • Mentorship from state public health officials and adult community partners
  • Training on youth-adult partnerships and health equity
  • Learning opportunities and professional development related to public health, education and community support
  • The chance to make a positive difference in the lives of Oregon youth

Interested youth ages 15-19 living in Oregon are encouraged to apply here. Applications will be accepted through March 31.

More information can be found here.

Eligible youth encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Today, eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine opens to all Oregonians age 16 and over. Snake River Pediatrics’ Matt Berria, PhD, PA-C, said it is important that youth get vaccinated.

“Snake River Pediatrics strongly recommends eligible adolescents receive the safe and highly efficacious COVID-19 vaccine. Doing so not only protects them but also their families, friends, classmates, and teammates,” Berria said. “Receiving the vaccine goes a long way in protecting those that can’t protect themselves, such as younger siblings. It is a simple and effective way to show they care about those around them.”

Berria also said that once people are fully immunized, they no longer need to be tested or quarantined for exposure to COVID-19, can closely associate with other vaccinated individuals without wearing a mask or social distancing, and might even help others who are hesitant about the vaccine make an informed decision, “rather than relying on false and potentially harmful information propagated in part by social media.” 

In Malheur County, where the supply of COVID-19 vaccine now exceeds demand, adults should have no trouble getting vaccinated; however, there is a limited supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the only one approved for people ages 16-17.

People in this age group are encouraged to call Walgreens in Ontario and speak with someone in the pharmacy to get scheduled for a vaccine appointment. The number is 541-889-6288.

Snake River Pediatrics is expecting a shipment of Pfizer vaccine in early May. The Oregon Health Authority is working to expand availability of the Pfizer vaccine throughout the state.

For more information, visit the OHA’s Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for 16- and 17-year-olds