by Joanne Rideout.
Last week, the county held four vaccination events and gave about 1200 people their first shot of the two-shot Moderna vaccine. They’ve also administered the Johnson and Johnson vaccine (referred to sometimes as the Janssen vaccine), to about 115 people. Johnson and Johnson is the one-shot version of currently available COVID vaccines.
Clatsop County Vaccine Task Force Incident Commander Chris Laman said the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is proving helpful to reach homebound residents.
“It is being used in harder to reach groups. So we’ve had several in-home visits where nurses from the health department actually went out into patients’ homes, and gave the patient or the community member, and spouse, doses of vaccine inside their own house. And we were also able to get, we have five adult foster homes that had not completed their vaccinations yet, so we had mobile clinics at all five of the adult foster homes that hadn’t yet been vaccinated. So they are now complete. And it’s our belief at the county that there are no more foster homes or care centers in Clatsop County that need to be vaccinated anymore.”
This week, the county will hold three vaccination clinics, two first dose events, one in Seaside and one in Astoria, and a second-dose clinic in Astoria.
The target age group for this week is community members 65 and older. The county has about 3,000 people in that demographic who filled out the health department’s online survey.
Looking ahead to the week of March 29, the vaccine becomes available to people ages 45 to 64, who have comorbid conditions or conditions that make them more susceptible
to COVID. There are about 6500 people who have filled out the survey who are in that group. Expanded vaccine events are planned for April.
Laman said the county has also been working with the Elsie-Vine Maple Fire Department to organize a vaccine event in the eastern part of the county.
And all five of the seafood canneries in the county will have vaccination events in early April at each of their sites. Officials anticipate that anywhere from three to 400 people will be vaccinated through those five events.
Right now three local pharmacies other than the county that are distributing vaccines. They are Costco, Walmart and Safeway. Residents have the option of waiting for the county to contact them, or seeking an appointment on their own through one of these other options.
Laman said it’s important for people who have a vaccine appointment to keep it, or let the provider, whether they are the county health department or a private pharmacy, know that they won’t be there. And if you are notified of an opportunity with the county for a shot and no longer need one, send them an email to let them know they can give your shot to someone else.
By the week of April 12, officials anticipate that more local pharmacies and clinics, about seven locally in the county, will be offering vaccines, along with area hospitals. As vaccine supplies become more available, it should be easy for anyone who wants a shot to get one.
Homebound patients who need someone to administer their shot in their home, should call the Clatsop County Health Department at 503-325-8500, extension 2.