Local News

Clatsop County Moves Forward With Vaccinating As Many People As Possible

by Joanne Rideout.      

As of the end of last week, the Clatsop County Public Health Department had administered a total of 20,000 first and second doses of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine, since the vaccination effort began.

Clatsop County Vaccine Task Force Incident Commander Chris Laman estimated that about 35 percent of county residents have had at least one shot in the two shot series, including those vaccinated by private pharmacies in the county, like Costco and Safeway, which are also administering vaccines. A little less than 17 percent of the county has had both doses and is considered fully vaccinated. He said that places Clatsop County above the state average for county vaccination rates.

Chris Laman: “In our 75-plus group we are well over 70 percent vaccinated. In terms of the people in the county. Sixty-five to 75 group we’re just under 70 percent. And we’re, compared to other counties,doing very well in those categories.”

This week, the county will switch from having clinics four or five days a week, to having clinics two days a week, but for longer hours, so they can continue to vaccinate large numbers of people and also be open later in the day to offer access to people who need to work.

The county will hold two mass vaccination events this week for cannery employees, with Spanish language translators on hand to assist staff and volunteers. Laman said those events will vaccinate hundreds of workers. The county will administer the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine so that the events only need to be organized once. The county has also used the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to vaccinate homebound residents, since it only requires one shot.

Laman said production problems with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine mean that Oregon will likely not get any more doses of that vaccine for several weeks. For people who specifically want that vaccine, the county probably won’t have it again before May. Laman said the slowdown in Johnson and Johnson availability puts on hold plans the health department had to offer that vaccine through hospitals and doctors offices in the county. Those plans will be rescheduled when that vaccine is once again available.

As of April 19th, anyone 16 and over will be eligible to get a shot, so the county is gearing up for another mass vaccination event on April 24th. Jewell residents will have another vaccination event in their community on April 23.

People who want the vaccine and have not already signed up for an appointment, should go online to the clatsop county website and fill out the COVID 19 survey. That gets you in line for an appointment. If you have questions, call the health department at 503-325-8500.