CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – State and local health officials are caught by surprise after the federal government said there is no government stockpile of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Jackson and Josephine County are still planning on rolling out vaccination clinics late next week.
However, due to a limited amount of doses they don’t know how many residents will get the vaccine. The drive-thru vaccine event in Jackson Co. is only open for people in Phase 1A. That includes health care workers and long-term care patients.
Due to the delay of more vaccines from the federal government, it may take longer to get people in phase 1B vaccinated. That includes educators and people who are 65 and older.
“We understand how frustrated and confusing it’s been for people,” said Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson Co. Public Health Officer, “That expansion was based upon availability of vaccines. We now have learned that we’ve not received enough vaccine at this time to vaccinate individuals in that group”.
Jackson and Josephine Counties are both still planning to hold vaccination clinics at the end of next week in partnership with Asante and the National Guard.
However, in Jackson Co., there may not be enough vaccine for people in Phase 1A, like hospital employees; urgent care; nursing and memory staff and residents; as well as first responders.
“We have 7,000 doses to stock we’re doing 500 a day and we have these events planned. We have put out an urgency to get more vaccines so we can utilize resources as they’re here. But if we do not receive more vaccines, we will run out of vaccines by next week,” said Holly Nickerson, Vice President of Quality & Patient Safety for Asante.
She said while they don’t know how many people they’ll vaccinate, all doses for the drive-thru clinic will be used. Jackson County’s goal is to vaccinate 5,000 people during this clinic.
“Asante will vaccinate the people in 1A as designated by the Oregon Health Authority. Other categories of people will be scheduled following state guidelines,” said Nickerson.
Josephine County is also still holding it’s vaccination clinic next weekend at the Fairgrounds. But depending on how many vaccines they get they may be able to open it to people in Phase 1B, including educators, and seniors over 65. Its goal is to give out 3,000 doses of the vaccine.
“We’re still hopeful. I think it’s likely we’ll be able to see that happen. But if we see yet another pullback of availability of vaccines that could change,” said Mike Weber.
The two counties are discussing whether residents can cross over county lines to get their first dose.
Jackson County is requiring people to pre-register on Asante‘s website beginning Monday.
The Jackson County vaccine clinic will be here at The Expo from Thursday, January 21 through Saturday, January 23. The Josephine County event will be Sunday, January 24, and Monday 24 at the County Fairgrounds.
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university’s political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster’s Foundation.
Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]