MEDFORD, Ore. – Jackson and Josephine Counties are holding their first vaccine clinics later this week. They’re both partnering with Asante and the National Guard to make it possible.
Jackson County Public Health has made it clear only people in Phase 1A can get vaccinated for this specific clinic. However, Josephine Co. Public Health is opening its clinic to educators on top of people in Phase 1A.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in its 10th month, public health officials are days away from holding their first vaccination clinics.
“This is vital, we recognize for our community to move on we need to get as much vaccine out as possible,” said Holly Nickerson, Vice President of Quality and Safety for Asante.
In Jackson County, residents and workers who are in Phase 1A can now register online to participate in this week’s event at The Expo. It’s being held this January 21-23. Phase 1A includes health care workers and long-term care patients.
“We thought it was prudent to restrict this to that we’re certain we can deliver [the] vaccine to,” said Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson Co. Public Health.
Josephine County is holding a similar clinic January 24-25 at the Josephine County Fairgrounds. Public health officer Michael Weber said the county’s also added a clinic next January 26 at Illinois Valley High School.
“We’ve gotten very few vaccines up to this point for various reasons. One of the big reasons is we aren’t necessarily as hard hit. So I know we aren’t as prioritized to get vaccines as quickly as others,” said Micheal Weber.
Weber said his county is getting 3,000 total doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Unlike Jackson County, Weber believes they’ll have enough doses to expand the vaccine to educators.
“We have enough to address, if not all then most of the educational individuals in the county. However, if we open this up to 65 and older we would be overwhelmed almost immediately,” said Weber.
People who get the vaccine will need to get the 2nd dose about 3-4 weeks after the first. But with the federal stockpile of vaccines, well below expectations, vaccines are limited in supply.
“Vaccine will be coming to us. If we have to prioritize second doses with the vaccine that comes to us and avoid continuing to vaccinate others we will do so,” said Dr. Shames.
While both Shames and Weber say they have enough doses for people who get one in the next week, to get a second dose, it’s not detrimental if they pass the recommended time frame.
Josephine Co. Public Health doesn’t have a way to register for the upcoming vaccine clinics yet. Registration for Jackson County is now active on Asante’s website.
If you’re interested in volunteering, Weber said to go through a non-profit or company rather than as an individual.
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