Local News

County plans for vaccine distribution but unsure when supplies will arrive

Clatsop County is completely out of COVID-19 vaccine and isn’t totally sure when it will be getting more. Meanwhile the county is planning mass events for when the vaccine does arrive. KMUN’s Jacob Lewin reports.

Chris Laman is the incident commander for the county vaccine task force. To put it mildly, he was surprised when no vaccine was shipped from the state to the county this week:

Oh my gosh, yeah. I want to be politically sensitive but we were led to believe that there were certain amounts of vaccine and that has not been the case. Everyone has been scrambling to just do the best we can with the little alottments that we have been getting, but this week the county received no doses.”

So far 2080 county residents have been vaccinated, all with a single dose and all in the state’s highest priority group which includes health care workers, police, fire and e-m-t’s and seniors in congregate living facilities. Most of that group has now been vaccinated and when new vaccine arrives most will go to the second priority group and the county is planning for that now:

The vast majority of the planning we’re doing is for mass vaccination events that will take place at the Astoria fairgrounds or the old high school in Seaside.”

The second highest priority group will include five subgroups: teachers, preschool teachers and school workers, followed by those 80 years old and over, then 75, then 70 and then 65, possibly beginning next week and ending in early March before going on to the general public:

We anticipate that we will receive a shipment at the beginning of next week. The state will let us know on Friday afternoon what to expect. There is a chance that they will tell us we get no vaccine next week.”

The county is surveying county residents who want shots to know how to contact them and get them to the mass events or otherwise get them shots.

For KMUN radio, I’m Jacob Lewin.