Coming off the heels of a successful mass vaccination effort over the weekend, local health officials are beginning to feel a little better about the vaccine roll out in Lane County – particularly with the anticipated upcoming dose allotment. It’s a bright spot in dark times, especially since public health officials expected 3,000 doses last week and received only 100.
Still, though, mass vaccination efforts Jan. 16 and 17 dispersed public health’s 1,670 total cache of doses to people in Groups 2 and 3 of Phase 1a – 595 Moderna and 1,075 Pfizer vaccines. At presstime Tuesday, 12,926 Lane County residents have been vaccinated.
Jason Davis, spokesperson for Lane County Public Health, said he is expecting the county to receive 4,600 more doses to allot to LCPH; 1,950 doses to McKenzie Willamette Hospital; 4,875 doses to PeaceHealth; and 1,200 doses to Peace Harbor Hospital on the coast.
Davis said the county also has the possibility of receiving 2,800 more doses that would be specifically allocated to Phase 1a, Group 2, which includes group homes with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their caretakers and correctional staff.
Lane County is still in the “extreme risk” category and COVID-19 cases continue to rise, and public health officials continue to stress staying away from social gatherings, washing hands and wearing a mask.
CHELSEA GREENWAY/ PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
Source: Oregon Health Authority
Springfield reports 2,458 all-time cases – a 193-case increase since last week. Cottage Grove is at 282 (+22 cases since last week); Creswell has had 215 (+10) and Pleasant Hill has 49 (+6) all-time virus cases.
Of the county’s 382,067 population, there are 8,435 all-time cases – 556 more cases since last week. There are 396 people currently infectious in the county (-37 since last week); 26 (-4) current hospitalizations; and 110 (+7) total deaths.
The state reports 131,258 (+4,651) all-time cases; 7,198 (+205) hospitalized and 1,758 (+143) total deaths.
The mass vaccination efforts over the weekend were “relatively organized, went very smoothly, and the feedback that we got was that it was easy to attend and is a very intuitive process,” Davis said. “We view that (success) as a sign that we should continue the way in which we handled those vaccinations.”
The plan is to move forward with mass vaccinations in the same fashion as last weekend’s event, he said. Details for this weekend’s vaccination clinic will be announced later this week, and will likely be at the same location. Public Health will be in touch directly with the groups they plan to vaccinate, and won’t make this weekend’s mass vax clinic’s location public, Davis said.
In future Phase 1 distribution efforts (Phase 1b and beyond), the vaccine will be prioritized for critical workers, including educators and staff, people at high risk due to underlying medical conditions, and people 65 years and older. Educators are expected to be eligible for vaccination on Jan. 25.
“The condition overall in the state is that we don’t have very many doses that aren’t being administered quickly,” Davis said. “Lane County has been keeping pace with the vaccines that come into the county. As we receive vaccines, we move them through. Currently we have very few vaccines left in Lane County and we’re waiting on that shipment. And that’s probably going to be par for the course going forward. As we receive our allocation from the state, we have a method, and the wherewithal to be able to administer those quickly and efficiently and even waiting for our next dose.”
The County requested National Guard assistance for the mass vaccinations clinics to help move through the first group. The county is still waiting to hear back from the National Guard, but “that mass vax effort from the National Guard would help us be able to move through those various outlying individuals, groups that we have yet to do, and would be a nice catch-all to folks that we don’t have direct communication with,” Davis said.
There will be a vaccination town hall meeting Jan. 21 from 7-8:30 p.m. People can tune in at Lane County Health & Human Services’ Facebook page, and can rewatch the live stream.