Several counties have asked for the Oregon National Guard’s help with vaccination efforts.
PORTLAND, Malm – Oregon Government Kate Brown toured the Jackman Long Building at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem on Wednesday to see the mass vaccination operation underway by Salem Health.
“This is honestly a star for Oregon right now,” Gov. Brown referring to the hall full of people getting COVID-19 shots.
We will probably see more events like this around the state, especially now that the governor has opened the next group of those who get shots for all 65 years and older as well as teachers.
According to the Census Bureau, Oregon has 767,000 people aged 65 and over.
“This is a very replicable model and hopefully one we can replicate in Portland and Southern Oregon and Central Oregon,”
Exactly how the mass vaccination events will happen is anyone’s guessing at the moment.
About 10 counties have asked the state for help by submitting requests to Oregon Emergency Management, according to a spokeswoman.
Marion County asked for 40 National Guard members who can provide vaccines. It’s the soldiers who work with Salem Health. Another 15 members of the guard help with traffic and administrative tasks.
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Josephine and Jackson counties have requested space for mass vaccination and guards to provide shots, monitor quality control and provide security.
The counties of Douglas, Deschutes and Clackama also requested National Guard support for events.
Wasco County asked for a facility where they can conduct a mass vaccination event.
Multnomah County submitted a request sent by Kaiser Permanente to them for National Guard support.
Kaiser plans to begin mass vaccinations at the Oregon Convention Center next week, spokesman Michael Foley said. The events involve people in Phase 1a of the state vaccine distribution plan and will not be open to the public.
Portland’s largest hospitals are working together now to help get as many shots as possible to people in category 1a.
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Spokeswoman Tamara Hargens-Bradley of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) said the hospital will continue its drive-through clinic, which opened for the first time last weekend.
“Over the weekend, OHSU will once again host invitation-only, drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinics for approximately 3,000 SEIU 503 and independent domestic workers, first responders and community health workers in Phase 1A,” said Hargens-Bradley.
“Last weekend, OHSU staffers across all missions volunteered to help lead, register, vaccinate and monitor 2,194 of these frontline workers at our test sites at Hillsboro Stadium and Convention Center,” she added.
The governor’s announcement Tuesday caught many on guard. Hospitals are working to find out how and where they can run mass vaccination sites in the Portland area, according to Becky Hultberg, executive director of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.
“They’re moving towards mass vaccination sites,” Hultberg said. “Again, I think details will come in these places. However, it will be really important that people do not just show up in these places when they are available. We will probably use a planning model because there are so many people eligible for the 65-year-old age group that we just can not just make everyone show up. “
Gov. Brown promised more details Friday. And in the meantime, she and others are asking that if you are 65 or older, do not call your doctor and ask where and when you can be vaccinated. They do not know it yet as it is still being worked on.
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