(Update: adding video, comments from Deschutes County Health Dept.)
Residents 75 and older can now make an appointment to get vaccinated
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Central Oregon is one of the only areas in the state to gain approval to start vaccinating all residents age 75 and older. That puts the region well ahead of schedule, as the Oregon Health Authority’s latest distribution plan said that group was not scheduled to become eligible until Feb. 14.
That’s largely thanks to a successful vaccination event at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond. From Wednesday through Sunday of last week, 4,600 people were vaccinated, mainly educators and child care providers – a group that, according to OHA, was not supposed to be able to receive vaccines until this week.
Officials said 10,000 more vaccines are due at the fairgrounds this week. Moving forward, vaccinations will be administered there Tuesdays through Saturdays.
The supply is on a week-to-week basis, so Central Oregon might not always be faster than the rest of the state.
Morgan Emerson, public information officer with the Deschutes County Health Department, told NewsChannel 21 more than 12,600 people have been vaccinated in the county as of Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the department has opened up its vaccination interest form for all residents in Central Oregon. So people who live in Jefferson and Crook counties can start filling it out.
Since its launch last Saturday, Emerson said about 28,000 people have signed up. Once people become eligible, they’ll get a notification from the health department that says they can schedule a vaccination appointment at www.stcharleshealthcare.org.
In less than 24 hours after Monday’s announcement, more than 6,000 Central Oregonians in Phase 1B – Group 3 (75+ years old) received the notification.
“When we sent out that notification, we had thousands of vaccine appointments available for Central Oregon residents age 75 years or older,” Emerson said. “Appointments are still available, and people can schedule online.”
Emerson aid there is no set date for when people in Phase 1B – Groups 4 and 5 will become eligible. As of now, OHA says people 70 and older will qualify the week of Feb. 21, while those 65 and older qualify the week of Feb. 28.