Jackson Co. vaccination clinic off to a slow start

JACKSON CO., Ore.– The Jackson County Expo, in partnership with FEMA, the Oregon Health Authority, and other organizations, is barely a week into an 8-week long vaccination clinic. It’s the only one in the state. The goal is to vaccinate over 1,000 Oregonians every day. According to Jackson County Public Health director dr. Jim shames, that isn’t happening.

He said, “We’re at about 25 percent capacity. More would be better.”

The problem, he said, is not that there isn’t enough vaccine.

“To be honest with you, I have not heard of a wasted dose yet.”

It’s that not enough people are willing to get the vaccine.

“Its disappointing that were not able to fill up our clinic slots ”

Jackson, Josephine and Klamath Counties all moved into the extreme risk level Friday.

Dr. Shames worries with people not getting vaccinated, we may be there some time.

“We’re not going to get back to normal until we can vaccinate a significant amount of our population.”

We’re also seeing a shortage of hospital beds across the state. Although there are enough beds locally, Dr. Shames says the overload elsewhere is causing a ripple effect.

“Portland is where the sickest of the sick go.”

Over the course of this week, the state has seen a 30.4% increase in hospitalizations since the week before. Something dr. Shames says can only be combatted by voluntarily getting the vaccine.

The walk-up site has been at the expo for the past month. The drive-thru aspect just kicked off Wednesday. The clinic is open 7 days a week for the next 2 months. No appointment is necessary, and you don’t need to be a Jackson County resident to get vaccinated.

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